Jun 21, 2017 - Technology

Japanese consumer marketplace hires former Facebook executive for big U.S. push


John Lagerling, who ran business development and mobile partnerships at Facebook until earlier this month, is joining Mercari, a Japanese consumer-to-consumer e-commerce company that is expanding in the U.S. Like OfferUp and LetGo, Mercari wants to make it easier to sell your stuff from your phone. But while those companies are more like mobile versions of Craigslist, Mercari is more akin to eBay, focusing on shipping goods anywhere rather than meeting up with a local buyer.

Lagerling told Axios that as the company's Chief Business Officer, he will be leading its effort to continue growth in Japan and jumpstart business in the U.S. Before Facebook, Lagerling spent eight years at Google, working with Andy Rubin on the Android team.

He admits Mercari has a bit of work to do to raise his profile, noting that when he told his team at Facebook, only two of the 200 people had even heard of Mercari. But, he said, some of the obscurity comes from the fact that unlike a lot of startups, Mercari is targeting average consumers rather than the coastal elites. "It's a bit of a different profile."

By the numbers: Mercari currently operates in Japan and the U.S. and says it does more than $100 million in transactions per month.

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