Online auction platform and marketplace for second hand goods

TBAuctions at a glance

TBAuctions (“TBA”) is a European digital auction platform for second-hand and second chance goods with presence across the Netherlands, Belgium, Germany, the UK, and the Nordics. TBA offers end-to-end auction services from pre-sales to post-sales to businesses and consumers, enabling goods to be reused and extending their lifetime. The goods auctioned span across a wide range of product categories, including machinery, construction equipment, medical equipment, vehicles, surplus, and consumer goods – with customers being businesses and consumers. The auction model contributes to circular consumption, meaning that less energy is used, and fewer resources are depleted.

Year acquired

2021

Sector

Online Auctions

Revenue

EUR 143 m

Location

The Netherlands

Employees

600+

Investment themes

Resource Efficiency

Recent developments

In recent years, TBA has made significant investments in developing a state-of-the-art and scalable IT platform called ATLAS, which allows acquisitions to scale and integrate seamlessly. The platform will also provide cost and topline synergies, and further stimulate growth. The company has delivered on its M&A strategy; since November 2021, TBA has acquired Auksjonen.no, PS Auction, Bjarøy AS, Vavato, and BMA. The acquisitions are enabling both a broader geographical footprint and expansion into new product categories.

Impact dimensions

The challenges we face

Unsustainable consumption leads to significant resource depletion and energy usage, and a large amount of what some perceive to be end-of-life assets end up in landfills as waste. 95% of the value of primary materials are lost after the first lifecycle.1 Second-hand and second chance goods are a solution to these issues enabling a circular economy by increasing the longevity and lifetime of already produced assets.

What is the outcome?

TBA’s contribution is two-folded as it is (i) increasing the lifetime of goods and hence reducing the need for extraction of virgin raw materials and waste generated and (ii) increasing transparency and reducing corruption related to the sale of reused goods. TBA tackles the challenge of unsustainable consumption by extending the lifetime of goods and facilitating reuse and circularity of goods through a digital auction business model.

Who are the stakeholders?

TBA serves more than 9 000 sellers being businesses and consumers primarily across Europe, where TBA’s platform acts as a key enabler to sell used or surplus goods in a compliant manner. Its ability to connect relevant buyers and sellers across industries is highly valued by its users, and +70% of the revenues of TBA come from returning customers.

How big is the effect, and does it last?

The company has through its 6 brands over 130 million website visitors per year with more than 3 million lots from sellers across Europe, including the Netherlands, Belgium, Germany, the UK, and the Nordics. The impact is expected only to increase as TBA expands to new markets and seller and buyer bases are growing. Ultimately, TBA’s mission is to reduce consumption for European households by enabling reuse of goods, positively impacting Europe’s overall decarbonization ambitions.

If TBAuctions didn’t exist...

If TBA didn’t exist, there would be i) more waste going to landfills ii) less reuse of equipment and more unsustainable consumption leading to resource depletion, and iii) less transparent sale processes of goods likely leading to unlawful processes with corruption risk.

Impact risk: what can go wrong?

Given that TBA is creating a platform to resell used and surplus goods, there is a chance that driving down prices results in people buying more goods they do not need, promoting the opposite as intended. Another risk is the reliance on the online platform as all acquisitions must be migrated to the digital platform; the migration time and cost may be longer and more costly than initially foreseen. Nevertheless, this brings a risk of TBA not being able to deliver on its promise to provide its customers with daily online auctions.

SDG alignments

SDG 12
SDG 13
SDG 16