Back in November rumors surfaced in the Spanish-speaking press that little known Wallapop — a second hand marketplace mobile app for snapping pictures of your stuff and selling it locally — had raised a round of funding from Accel Partners. Neither Wallapop nor Accel commented and the English-speaking media failed to pick up the story. However, the claim was that Accel had taken an around 20 per cent stake in the company for €3 million. After investigating further, our sources say Accel led the Series A in Q2 last year. A company spokesperson told us they have: “No comment this time”.
TechCrunch understands that New York’s Insight Venture Partners led the Series B in Q4 to the tune of $25 million. Then last month Spanish newspaper LaVanguardia reported that Wallapop had closed a $40 million (€38 million) round. Once again the company refused to comment but this report is believed to refer to the Insight funding round last year.
Bu that’s not all.
Our sources tell us that Wallapop is in the process of raising a huge new round. One source pegs this at $100 million, with Fidelity Growth Partners and multiple super angels involved, along with Accel.
Why would Wallapop need such a large cash injection so soon after a sizable Series B? It’s fair to say there are a lot of players contending to win in this space — and its investors may well view it as a race to scale up fast to become the consumer brand of choice before another app gets there first. Shopping sites need plenty of inventory to attract buyers, and plenty of buyers to attract sellers, so there’s added incentive for this type of business to scale users quickly.
Over the pond, competitors to Wallapop include OfferUp, a Seattle-based competitor, that Re/Code reported as trying to raise between $60 million and $100 million in venture capital back in March, and Toronto-based VarageSale. Another player in Europe is Balderton-backed social shopping app, Depop, which raised an $8 million Series A this January.
More detail about Wallapop has previously surfaced on local tech site Novobrief — which notes that the app, quietly founded in 2013 by CEO Agustín Gómez, Gerard Olive (BeRepublic) and Miguel Vicente (Letsbonus), raised an early seed round of €1.6 million from Caixa Capital Risc, Bonsai Venture Capital, ESADE Ban, Antai, Grupo Godó and Grupo Zeta (both media companies).
A few months after that it took in €1.3 million from Atresmedia as part of a ‘media for equity’ deal. A series of Wallapop TV adverts subsequently became famous on Spanish TV and supercharged growth. Here’s a taster:
This TV activity likely hints at the type of high profile marketing the startup plans to spend big on to battle for scale on contested territory.
Wallapop now has a sizable a war chest — of up to $140 million, which would potentially give it up to a $1 billion valuation — and is gunning for the classified ads market with a vengeance.
Just as Airbnb owns no houses and Uber owns no cars, Wallapop owns no inventory. Look out Craigslist. And, well, eBay.