Ghost, a members-only B2B marketplace for surplus inventory, reportedly raised $30 million in Series B funding, bringing the total to $68 million. Venture capital firm Cathay Innovation led the round with participation from existing investors Union Square Ventures, Equal Ventures and Eniac Ventures. The company will use the funds to hire roles in product, engineering and design while developing its platform to meet rising demand.

Ghost has rapidly grown since coming out of stealth with a $20 million Series A funding round in July 2022. The company reported a 500 percent increase in uploaded inventory in the last year, with a gross merchandise value (GMV) run rate that has increased over 10x year-over-year, and its team has doubled in size.

Ghost now counts over 1,000 members on its platform, including some of the world’s best brands and global retailers in apparel, footwear, beauty and home goods.

Surplus inventory remains one of the most significant pain points for retailers and brands historically suffering from limited, inefficient and archaic liquidation options. In 2022, over $500 billion of excess inventory was sold at discount retailers, expected to grow to $830 billion by 2030, while over $163 billion is discarded annually. The problem has become more complicated as supply chain issues rise and demand becomes more difficult to predict.

“Ghost has found a way to fundamentally change the industry and unlock billions for both buyers and sellers by focusing on access,” said Simon Wu, partner at Cathay Innovation, who is joining Ghost’s board. “By allowing sellers to stop being ‘price takers’ and generate superior recovery rates while simultaneously granting buyers access to premium, highly sought-after inventory previously unattainable, Ghost grows the pie and creates win-win solutions for all parties. We’re excited to partner with Josh and Dee, two well-known commodities in retail and tech and a natural founder-market fit, as they work to scale and expand into new categories and geographies.”

Co-founders Josh Kaplan and Dee Murthy witnessed the challenge of inventory management first-hand at fashion holding company Five Four Group and started Ghost to solve the ever-evolving problem. Launched in 2021, Ghost offers a members-only B2B marketplace where brand sellers can discreetly and efficiently monetize their surplus inventory to vetted buyers. Its platform provides a one-stop shop for retailers and brands to buy, sell, price, and ship excess goods powered by a data engine for greater discovery and increased conversion for buyers and sellers.

“We are leveraging data science and technology to solve a problem that has previously been addressed with phone calls and fax machines,” said Kaplan. “Our alpha is the ability to predict everything from market pricing to sell-through, which is extremely powerful information for our customers. Through our team’s deep expertise in the retail sector, Ghost has gained the trust of global brands across fashion, beauty, footwear, home goods, and more. We are expanding our reach across the globe and connecting more of the world’s best retailers than ever before.”

Murthy said, “With Cathay Innovation, we’ve gained a partner with an extensive understanding of the retail industry along with invaluable connections to a global consumer ecosystem that will help Ghost reach brands across the U.S., Europe and Asia. We look forward to working with them as we expand, grow and take Ghost to the next level.”

Photo courtesy Clerk Creative/ Ghost founders Dee Murthy and Josh Kaplan