Barcelona-based niche marketplaces group 500 Markets has ceased operations. The company, founded in 2015, ran three niche mobile-only verticals: cycling app BKIE, baby and children’s gear app Mooms, motorcycling app MotoFan and second-hand mobile products app SellFun.

The 500 Markets sites were transactional, offering product verification, secure payments and delivery. The BKIE app had 400,000 downloads in its first year, SellFun 100,000 and Mooms around 100,000. Writing about 500 Markets in 2017, the AIM Group reported: “In just over a year, it has achieved a steady revenue stream (exact figures are not made available) based on charging a small fee to both sellers and buyers. Its simple strategy is a blueprint for niche classifieds that want to generate revenue from the moment they launch.”

In that interview, co-founder and CEO Sergi Juanós told us, “We don’t pretend to capture 100% of users. We target those who value safety, convenience, and trust.” For a period, that was enough to drive growth, with Mooms launching in Portugal and the company raising €500,000 ($588,000 U.S.) from PDG Invest.

Despite early promise, the sites failed to maintain profitable growth. In June 2018, Juanós departed and head of product Minty Ascención took over as chief executive. Ascención confirmed 500 Markets closure to the AIM Group: “Unfortunately, we had to shut down.” She made no further comment on the reasons behind the closure.

Chart from AIM Group 500 Markets report, 2017

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