You wouldn’t think that a Pinterest where you can buy stuff would be one of the hottest Series A deals of the quarter, but it was.
Wanelo, a site that allows you to bookmark items that you like and, this is crucial, allows you to buy those items via direct links from the site, has been the prettiest girl at the party for the past month or two while it completes its raise.
Of course its popularity among investors is boosted by the fact that its mobile app is in the “Top 30 Free Apps” in the App Store currently (at No. 30) and has been oscillating between the No. 1 and No. 2 slots in “Free Lifestyle.” Yet, the high valuation for an e-commerce company is a surprise considering the sector is sharply divided into “Haves” and “Have Nots.” The company monetizes through affiliate commissions on items sold through the site.
Everybody wanted in on this deal: I’m hearing that VCs were literally begging for intros to Wanelo founder Deena Varshavskaya, and among the very interested was Sequoia.
The deal was closed last week, say sources, and the round was likely between $5 million to $10 million at “north of a $100 million” valuation. Rumor has it that a strategic investor (someone like DST) and not a VC firm won the lead. So how do you explain such a high valuation for such a small check? “If Pinterest is the magazine, then Wanelo is the catalogue,” one investor told me on the investment’s appeal.