Wallapop, so far, has reportedly raised a ton of money. But despite that, Wallapop CEO Agustin Gomez doesn’t want to talk about it because he thinks it’s a distraction. Gomez spoke on stage at TechCrunch Disrupt London 2015.
“A long time ago we thought there was no upside to talking about fundraising, we never comment, we keep a very low profile,” Gomez said. “This is a personal point of view, the only ones interested in how much money we have in the bank are our competitors. I don’t see any upside about talking about financial raising. We focus our communications and PR in topics that are interesting.”
That’s not all that surprising. Wallapop has kept a very low profile, though it has continued to grow and expand internationally. Gomez confirmed that Wallapop had most recently acquired Sell It, a company based out of New York, to build a team in the United States. When asked how many people had heard of, or even used, Wallapop at TechCrunch Disrupt London 2015, there was hardly a hand raised in the crowd.
And it’s a far cry from many startups in Silicon Valley and otherwise, which are often shouting from the mountain tops about how much money they’ve raised. With the amount of money Wallapop has raised, it’s reasonable to think that it’s well on its way to unicorn status (if it’s not already there). So there’s also the valuation question, which Gomez doesn’t think is worth talking about.
“Something that in Wallapop we have control over quite well is never speculating with the valuation of the company,” he said. “A lot of people get mad — they think the company is better if it has a higher valuation. But when you think in the long term, especially in industry of classifieds where it takes years to take the market, you have to manage your valuation and be very coherent.”
Wallapop is a second-hand marketplace application where anyone can post goods they want to sell. The service then connects the buyers and sellers in the real world where they can complete the transaction. In fact, Wallapop was partially built to encourage those in-person meetings, Gomez said.
In terms of where the money was going, Gomez was a little more candid: marketing. The company runs a lot of TV campaigns, he said — which is a medium that he encouraged companies to continue looking at for mainstream audiences. The company has very low operational expenses with just 80 employees, Gomez said on stage.
“We’ve learned a lot about how to combine traditional TV marketing channels with a huge digital strategy,” Gomez said. “Wallapop is really TV driven. TV still works.”
Still, that doesn’t mean Wallapop isn’t experimenting with other kinds of marketing campaigns. At one point, Wallapop ran a sort of experiment where users could list themselves for dating purposes. But even jokes like that can go a little awry with some runaway success.
“We like to do these kinds of crazy experiments in order to destroy our business,” Gomez said. “It was really funny, that was too much success — we had to cut it down.”