The SME Story: Sandeep Shetty, co-founder of NorthLadder
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The SME Story: Sandeep Shetty, co-founder of NorthLadder

The SME Story: Sandeep Shetty, co-founder of NorthLadder

NorthLadder is a rapidly expanding secondhand online marketplace for pre-owned luxury goods


What is the central idea around NorthLadder?
NorthLadder is a UAE-based secondhand online marketplace for pre-owned luxury assets and electronics such as smartphones, tablets, watches, bags, cars and jewellery. Our aim was to create a transparent platform that delivers the best possible value to our customers. With NorthLadder, people can sell or finance their secondhand goods through our global auction platform.

The auction-driven element allows buyers from all over the world to bid for goods, delivering competitive prices for our customers. Our process includes the authentication of all goods we receive in addition to handling the logistics and payment to create a simplified user experience for both the seller and the buyer. In the last year, we have completed over 20,000 transactions. We have a growing team of over 50 employees.

What percentage of the pre-owned luxury market within the UAE are you aiming to capture?
Currently, we are experiencing high supply and demand for luxury secondhand goods in the UAE. Consumers in the Middle East have the highest spend per capita on luxury goods in the world. This strong consumption has opened up opportunities in the secondhand luxury goods market in the GCC. For example, the pre-owned watch market alone globally is estimated to be worth $30bn, capturing just a small percentage of the total pre-owned luxury market.


What are some of the inherent problems that you have to contend with in the pre-owned luxury space?
Operating in the pre-owned luxury market presents three key challenges. These are authentication, international shipment logistics and payments. For example, we ensure reliable authentication by establishing credible third party partnerships. We have partnered with Franck Muller’s atelier in Dubai where all luxury watches are tested for authenticity prior to being listed on the platform. When it comes to inventory, we don’t have any – every watch or bag sold on our platform is against a bid by a global buyer.

You received $5m funding earlier this year. To what end has that been used?
So far, we have invested in our talent to build a cohesive team of experts. We have also invested in the technology behind our platform. We have additionally focused our investments into building consumer awareness of the product and service across the region. We still have part of this investment, which we plan to allocate towards our continued growth. We look forward to our next round of funding early next year primarily to support our global expansion plans.

What are your expansion plans?
We are currently focusing on setting up operations in Saudi Arabia and aim to be fully operational there by Q4 of this year. After expanding our reach in the region, we plan to go international with expansion plans into the US next year.

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