- Wallapop is a Spain-based virtual marketplace for used goods.
- The company raised EUR 157 million ($ 191 million) in funding.
- Korelya Capital led the funding round.
Venue closures and other social distancing steps were introduced by governments last year. Even individuals were pursued to slow the spread of COVID-19. Shopping and e-commerce, in particular, have remained a constant and extremely important service. For many of us, it was a major lifeline at a time when very little else felt natural. One of the start-ups that saw a big increase in its service is announcing a major fundraiser to boost its rise.
Wallapop is a Barcelona, Spain-based virtual marketplace. It allows people to resell their used goods or sell items like crafts they make themselves. It has raised EUR 157 million ($ 191 million at current rates). Thus, the number of people that use it can be increased. Wallapop reported that the financing is priced at EUR 690 million ($ 840 million). It was a big jump in 2016 on the $ 570 million valuation sources close to the venture. Korelya Capital, a French VC fund funded by Korea’s Naver, led the funding round. Accel, Insight Partners, 14W, GP Bullhound, and Northzone, all of Wallapop’s previous backers also participated.
The business currently has 15 million users with around half of the internet population of Spain. CEO Rob Cassedy points that it has maintained a respectable No. 4 ranking among Spain’s shopping apps. The company has also recently introduced shipping services, called Envios. It will help individuals get the goods they sell to customers. The company has widened the range from local sales to those that can be manufactured around the nation. Approximately 20% of goods are now going through Envios and the intention is to continue to double that.
Naver itself is a strong player in e-commerce and apps, among other digital assets. The business behind Asian messaging giant Line is partly a strategic investment. In its R&D, Wallapop will rely on Naver and its technology, and on Naver’s side, it will give the business a foothold in the European market at a time when its e-commerce strategy has been sharpened.
Wallapop’s merger with LetGo
By 2016, as part of a larger plan to crack the U.S. market, Wallapop was merging with a competitor, LetGo. But by 2018, the proposal was quietly shelved, with Wallapop quietly selling for $189 million its stake in the LetGo venture. (Around that time, LetGo raised $500 million more on its own, but its destiny wasn’t to stay independent. Over the last two years, Wallapop has concentrated mainly on increasing in Spain rather than running further afield after business, and instead of expanding the variety of goods it may sell on its website, it does not sell food, nor work with retailers in an Amazon-style marketplace game, nor does it have plans to do something like the switch to video or sell other types of digital services.
The emphasis of people spending more time in their homes was to clear out space and get rid of things. Now that they spend more time at home, some are keen to purchase new things but want to spend less on them. There has been a movement for more sustainability in both ways, with individuals instead throwing less waste into the environment by recycling and upcycling products.
Business during the lockdown
All of these have had a major effect on the industry of Wallapop, but it hasn’t always been this way. He noted that the drop began in March, when “not only was it not okay to leave the house and trade locally, but the post office stopped providing parcels.” In March and April, our company went off a cliff.
“With the renewed commitment to sustainable consumption, particularly among younger millennials and Gen Z, global demand for C2C and resale platforms is increasing,” said Seong-sook Han, CEO of Naver Corp., in a statement. “We agree with the Wallapop Conscious Consumption ideology and are enthusiastic about promoting their products with our technology and creating international synergies.”