By way of all the final 12 months’s lockdowns, venue closures, and different social distancing measures that governments have enacted and folks have adopted to sluggish the unfold of Covid-19, purchasing — and particularly e-commerce — has remained a constant and massively necessary service. It’s not simply one thing that we needed to do; it’s been an necessary lifeline for many people at a time when so little else has felt regular. In the present day, one of many startups that noticed an enormous raise in its service because of that pattern is saying a serious fundraise to gas its development.
Wallapop, a digital market based mostly out of Barcelona, Spain that lets individuals resell their used gadgets, or promote gadgets like crafts that they make themselves, has raised €157 million ($191 million at present charges), cash that it’ll use to proceed rising the infrastructure that underpins its service, in order that it may broaden the variety of people who use it.
Wallapop has confirmed that the funding is coming at a valuation of €690 million ($840 million) — a major bounce on the $570 million valuations sources near the corporate gave us in 2016.
The funding is being led by Korelya Capital, a French VC fund backed by Korea’s Naver, with Accel, Perception Companions, 14W, GP Bullhound and Northzone — all earlier backers of Wallapop — additionally taking part.
The corporate at the moment has 15 million customers — about half of Spain’s web inhabitants, CEO Rob Cassedy identified to us in an interview earlier in the present day, and has maintained an honest number-four rating amongst Spain’s purchasing apps, based on figures from App Annie.
The startup has additionally not too long ago been constructing out delivery companies, referred to as Envios, to assist individuals get the gadgets they’re promoting to the patrons, which has expanded the vary from native gross sales to these that may be made throughout the nation. About 20% of products undergo Envios now, Cassedy mentioned, and the plan is to proceed doubling down on that and associated companies.
Naver itself is a powerful participant in e-commerce and apps — it’s the corporate behind Asian messaging big Line, amongst different digital properties — and so that is partly a strategic funding. Wallapop might be leaning on Naver and its expertise in its personal R&D, and on Naver’s aspect it would give the corporate a foothold within the European market at a time when it has been sharpening its strategy in e-commerce.
The funding is an fascinating flip for an organization that has seen some notable suits and begins. Based in 2013 in Spain, it shortly shot to the highest of the charts in a market that has historically been slow to embrace e-commerce over extra conventional brick-and-mortar retail.
By 2016, Wallapop was merging with a rival, LetGo, as a part of a much bigger technique to crack the U.S. market (with extra capital in tow).
However by 2018, that plan was quietly shelved, with Wallapop quietly selling its stake in the LetGo venture for $189 million. (LetGo raised $500 million more on its own round that point, however its destiny was to not stay unbiased: it was eventually acquired by yet another competitor within the digital classifieds house, OfferUp, in 2020, for an undisclosed sum.)
Wallapop has for the final two years targeted primarily on rising in Spain reasonably than operating after enterprise additional afield, and reasonably than rising the vary of products that it’d promote on its platform — it doesn’t promote meals, nor work with retailers in an Amazon-style market play, nor does it have plans to do something like transfer into video or promoting different kinds of digital companies — it has honed in particularly on making an attempt to enhance the expertise that it does provide to customers.
“I spent 12 years at eBay and noticed that transition it made to new items from used items,” mentioned Cassedy. “Let’s simply say it wasn’t the path I assumed we must always take for Wallapop. We’re laser targeted on distinctive items, with the overwhelming majority of that second hand with some artisan merchandise. It is extremely completely different from massive field.”
Wallapop’s development up to now 12 months isare the results of some particular tendencies available in the market that have been partly fuelled by the Covid-19 pandemic.
Individuals spending extra time of their properties have been targeted on clearing out house and eliminating issues. Others are eager to purchase new gadgets now that they’re spending extra time at residence, however wish to spend much less on them. In each instances, there was a push for extra sustainability, with individuals placing much less waste into the world by recycling and upcycling items as a substitute.
On the identical time, Fb hasn’t actually made massive inroads with its Market within the nation, and Amazon has additionally not appeared as a menace to Wallapop, Cassedy famous.
All of those have had a big impact on Wallapop’s enterprise, nevertheless it wasn’t all the time this manner. Cassedy mentioned that the primary lockdown in Spain noticed enterprise plummet, as individuals have been restricted to go away their properties.
“It was a rollercoaster for us,” he mentioned. “We entered the 12 months with unbelievable momentum, very robust.”
He famous that the drop began in March, when “not solely did it turn out to be not okay to go away home and commerce domestically however the publish workplace stopped delivering parcels. Our enterprise went off a cliff in March and April.”
Then when the restrictions have been lifted in Could, issues began to bounce again than ever earlier than, almost in a single day, he mentioned. “The financial uncertainty brought about individuals to hunt out extra worth, higher offers, spending much less cash, and sure they have been clearing out closets. We noticed numbers bounce again 40-50% development year-on-year in June.”
The large query was whether or not that development was a blip or there to say. He mentioned it has continued into 2021 to this point. “It’s a validation of what we see as long run tendencies driving the enterprise.”
“The worldwide demand for C2C and resale platforms is rising with renewed dedication in sustainable consumption, particularly by youthful millennials and Gen Z,” famous
Seong-sook HAN, CEO of NAVER Corp., in a press release. “We agree with Wallapop’s philosophy of aware consumption and are enthused to help their development with our expertise and develop worldwide synergies.”
“Our economies are switching in direction of a extra sustainable improvement mannequin; after investing in Vestiaire Collective final 12 months, wallapop is Korelya’s second funding within the round economic system, whereas COVID-19 is simply strengthening that pattern. It’s Korelya’s mission to again tomorrow’s European tech champions and we consider that NAVER has a confirmed tech and product edge that can assist the corporate reinforce its main place in Europe,” added Fleur Pellerin, CEO of Korelya Capital.