Whatnot valuation doubles to $3.7 billion as live-stream shopping gains popularity in US MovieUpdates

Livestream shopping in the United States has a way of catching up with China’s booming $600 billion industry, but Whatnot’s new $260 million Series D round shows shoppers in the United States are buying this way. and increasingly embracing the sale of articles.

The new investment, co-led by DST Global and recurring investor CapitalG, more than doubles the valuation of the live shopping platform to $3.7 billion, up from the $1.5 billion valuation in September 2021, when Whatnot raised $150 million. Also participating in the round were BOND and returning investors Andreessen Horowitz and YC Continuity.

Whatnot plans to use the capital infusion to further develop its in-app live and social commerce marketplace and roll out additional categories for collectors, including die-cast cars, stamps and action figures.

Grant LaFontaine and Logan Head founded the company in 2019 as a place for avid collectors to share their interests, along with buying and selling things like rare Pokémon cards and Funko Pops.

It took the initial approach to the popular “card break” concept, where users buy unopened boxes of Pokémon or sports cards and tune others in to watch them reveal the contents live. That has grown into other collectibles, including sneakers, trading cards, sports memorabilia, and rare toys.

Growing demand resulted in Whatnot not only raising three rounds of capital in 2021, but growing year-over-year sales more than 20-fold in 2021, more than tripling monthly sales to date in 2022, the company said. company.

“The past year has been one of rapid growth, largely attributed to the powerful community that nurtures our platform,” CEO Lafontaine said in a written statement. “It was incredible to see how our app cultivates connections between people with shared hobbies, keeps them on our entertaining live streams even when they’re not buying anything, and provides a hub where everyone can browse and discover new interests. Building on this momentum, we have set our sights on expanding into more categories and creating new experiences for people of all kinds of passions and hobbies.”

Livestream shopping is only an $11 billion business in the United States so far, but will reach $35 billion in sales by 2024. Rapid growth with companies like Whatnot has venture capital investors seeking other players and have spent hundreds of millions of dollars in companies like Popshop Live, Upmesh, buywith, Firework and Drip over the past year.

To accommodate some of that growth and offer new features, Whatnot acquired Pastel Labs, a company that builds products, for example, to capture user testimonials videos.

The company also recently hired additional people in sales, marketing and engineering to continue to improve the buying and selling experience, including Xinan Wu, formerly at Citadel Securities, as head of infrastructure and Agnieszka Podsiadło, formerly at Lyft, as head of core product engineering.

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