Los Angeles-based independent live shopping platform, Whatnot, has raised $260M in Series D funding at a valuation of $3.7B. The round was led by DST Global and returning investor CapitalG, Alphabet’s independent growth fund. The latest fundraise saw 2.5 times increased in valuation since its $1.5 billion valuation in September 2021.
The round also saw participation from BOND and returning investors Andreessen Horowitz (a16z) and YC Continuity. The fresh capital will facilitate continued investment in the in-app live & social commerce marketplace and enable the company to launch additional categories for collectors and enthusiasts.
“Whatnot is one of the fastest growing marketplaces we’ve ever seen. Whatnot’s unique approach to social commerce combines social-media-like-engagement with best-in-class eCommerce commercialization, creating a powerful combination for buyers and sellers,” said Laela Sturdy, General Partner at CapitalG.
Live shopping is the next big thing in the US
As per media reports, Chinese shoppers have been using live eCommerce for a while, and slowly it is picking up in the US. Even eCommerce giants like Amazon are looking to take the lead in the segment and fend off competition from TikTok and Instagram.
The rise of live shopping is evident from Whatnot’s books, which puts it as the fastest growing independent marketplace in the US for two years. Founded in 2019, the company has raised nearly $485 million and is the US leader in social shopping, a $600B market in China and doubling it annually.
“In the ten months since we co-led the Series C, Whatnot has successfully launched and scaled dozens of new categories, proving the horizontal power of the platform. We’re thrilled to double down on Whatnot by co-leading the Series D,” said Laela Sturdy
Whatnot provides live shopping experiences for popular collectibles categories such as sneakers, trading cards, sports cards and memorabilia, rare toys, and more. With the fresh funds, the company plans to double down on collectible categories, expanding into diecast cars, stamps, and action figures and will continue expanding into multiple new categories.
“This last year has been one of fast-paced growth largely attributed to the strong community our platform is fostering. It’s been incredible to see how our app cultivates connections between people with shared hobbies, keeping them tuned in to our entertaining live streams even if they aren’t buying and providing a hub for anyone to browse and discover new interests,” said CEO and co-founder Grant Lafontaine.