Whatnot raises $50M to let people sell Pokémon cards, Funko Pops, and more via livestream – TechCrunch


Whatnot exists with one main aim in thoughts: to offer folks a spot to purchase and promote collectibles (like Pokémon playing cards, sports activities playing cards, pins, and so forth) in a secure, authenticated means.

The corporate began out with intentions of being a GOAT/StockX-style resale market, the place the merchandise up on the market lived on neat little pages with row after row of static photos. As they began experimenting with different codecs, they discovered one that basically appeared to catch on: livestream gross sales. Assume QVC or the Dwelling Purchasing Community… however as an alternative of hosts in enormous studios promoting jewellery and patio furnishings, it’s customers with smartphones promoting Charizard playing cards and Yoda collectible figurines.

Picture Credit: Whatnot

I first wrote about Whatnot final 12 months. Within the quick time since, the corporate has raised three more and more massive rounds: $four million in December, $20 million in March, and, as of this morning, one other $50 million.

Whereas Whatnot nonetheless gives the extra customary product pages to offer sellers a 24/7 presence on the location, the livestreaming facet of issues has change into the first driver — by far. Co-founder Grant LaFontaine tells me that livestreaming is presently “95% of the main focus”; it’s the place most of their gross sales are occurring, and what customers appear to care most about.

One other factor customers appear to care about? Sports activities playing cards. Whatnot opened up the location to sports activities card sellers in January, and it nearly instantly took over as the location’s greatest promoting class. The one class now accounts for “tens of millions of {dollars}” in gross sales every month, the corporate says.

 

The Whatnot staff itself is rising rapidly as nicely. Once I first spoke to them, it was only a handful of staff; by January of this 12 months, they had been as much as ten. Right this moment it’s 45 fulltimers. By the tip of the 12 months, says Grant, they count on to be nearing 100.

Whereas anybody can promote on Whatnot’s market, solely customers which have been vetted/invited can promote through livestream. This helps to maintain fraud low; sellers know that in the event that they attempt to sneak in pretend playing cards or rip anybody off, their entry to livestreaming — and thus their viewers — might vanish.

The corporate tells me that this Collection B spherical was led by Anu Hariharan of Y Combinator Continuity fund, and backed by Andreessen Horowitz, Animal Capital, and various angels.

 



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