June 13, 2018 / 5:16 AM / 5 months ago

REFILE--France's Back Market raises $48 mln for U.S. expansion

(Refiles to remove extraneous word from headline)

* Eurazeo joins Groupe Arnault in pool of investors

* Startup competes with eBay, Amazon

PARIS, June 13 (Reuters) - French startup Back Market, an online marketplace for refurbished smartphones and other electronic goods, has raised 41 million euros ($48 million) to expand in the United States, it said on Wednesday.

France’s richest man Bernard Arnault, the boss of luxury group LVMH, is among the pool of investors, as well as listed investment firm Eurazeo.

Back Market, which competes with eBay and Amazon , connects sellers of second-hand phones with repair shops. The phones are then reconditioned and put on sale on the startup’s website.

“Our ambition is to create a world brand for the reconditioned market, and this entails growing in the American market,” said Back Market’s co-founder and chief executive Thibaud Hug de Larauze.

Details about the company’s finances, valuation and new ownership structure were not disclosed.

The Paris-based startup is tapping on a fast-growing market of second-hand electronic goods, driven by the proliferation of smartphones globally and hard-pressed consumers who cannot afford to buy increasingly pricey devices.

New funds will notably be spent to double the staff to about 170 within a year, with the recruitments of data scientists and engineers to add new products to the catalogue and improve the customer service.

“The potential is huge, we’re talking several billion euros” said Yann du Rusquec, managing director of Eurazeo Growth. ($1 = 0.8488 euros) (Reporting by Mathieu Rosemain; editing by John Irish)

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