1. Technology & Innovation

Social commerce startup Haz bags $1.4m in pre-seed funding to connect people through the things that they own

London-based startup Haz, an AI social commerce app that connects friends through the things they own, has landed $1.4 million in pre-seed funding led by Speedinvest with participation from the scout programmes of A16Z (co-founder Reface, Dima Shvets), Atomico (Sameer Singh), Concept Ventures (Oliver Kicks), and individuals from Lapse, Lendable, Lottie & Ecoigo.

The cash will be used to develop its proprietary AI technology and launch the platform in the UK before expanding across Europe. 

“82% of Gen Z now think about the resale value of an item before they even buy it, yet 47% of items fit for resale remain unsold,” says Haz Co-founder Ronan Harvey-Kelly.

“It takes a lot of time to resell something and consumers still lack the data they need to make informed resale decisions. That’s where Haz comes in.”

The venture wants to capitalise on the rapidly growing demand in resale by using its AI technology to scan digital receipts in users’ email inboxes. This removes the manual element of listing something you own for sale.

“By utilising AI to automatically digitise the things users own from the point of purchase, we’re making it possible for people to receive offers on items they haven’t actively listed for sale,” says Co-founder Glenn Keller. 

Launched in late March of this year, and available to download for free on iOS, Haz lays claim to thousands of users, and says that the liquidity of supply on the app has increased by 1,163% in the last three months.

“Fundamentally, we’re making it easier and safer for people to turn unwanted items into cash, while building a completely new way for friends and like-minded people to connect,” says Keller.

“By completely removing the manual element of listing something pre-loved for sale, the buyer experience improves tenfold as shoppers are no longer restricted to only being able to browse second-hand items that are actively being sold in that given moment.”

“It is clear that the future of commerce is resale. While we have seen huge advancements in how people shop new, the second-hand industry has lacked AI innovation over the last five years,” says investor Katharine Spooner at Speedinvest. 

“Your friends follow your location, like your photos, and see what you’re listening to in real-time. Now Has lets them track and engage with what you own – and this new type of connection is what excites us most about them.”

“Haz presents a promising approach using proprietary AI to balance the world’s overproduction of apparel and electronics,” says investor Dima Shvets, Co-founder of Reface and A16Z scout programme partner.

“Haz stands out for many reasons, most notably their progress in automating the process of turning unwanted belongings into money. I truly believe in their mission, technology, and approach.”

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