Letgo, a buying and selling mobile app, announced it raising $100 million in Series A round of funding from Naspers Limited which is one of the most successful internet and media companies in the world.
Launched in 2015 by Alec Oxenford, Jordi Castello and Enrique Linares, Letgo is a highly visual and user-friendly market place that allows users to post, buy, sell and communicate with each other instantly and for free. In just few months, the app has been downloaded more than 2 million times with users in USA and other part of the world posting more than 500,000 listings that values around $25 million. The app is available for Android and iOS devices.
“We built Letgo because we saw an immense opportunity for innovation and growth in this space, particularly in the U.S,” said Oxenford who is also founder of online classified OLX. “Our platform makes buying household items faster and more intuitive than ever before. This technology – along with Naspers’ significant investment and support, our aggressive plan to grow the platform, and our shared experience building successful companies in this sector – will allow us to capitalize on an area of ecommerce that is poised for explosive growth.”
Oxenford’s reason to launch a U.S market place is quite similar to the reason of other startups who try to compete and overtake eBay and Craigslist. He strongly believes that there is not enough innovation in the classifieds industry for years, particularly in mobile. He says, “Consumer are hungry for an easier way to buy and sell locally.” What stands Letgo out of other is that it may be able to do it.
With the aim to grow quickly, the company plans to spend around 3/4th of the funding amount to marketing and the rest would go to hire new team of engineers and other employees. The company raised such a huge amount solely by the company’s strong belief that it had a big market opportunity , which demanded an aggressive approach. “We intend to use the capital, not just to hold it. The amount has to more with the size of the opportunity,” said Oxenford. No other details on Letgo’s valuation or relationship to Naspers were disclosed except that Naspers is the company’s only outside shareholder.
“Alec has distinguished himself as an expert with an extraordinary track record in mobile e-commerce,” Martin Scheepbouwer, the CEO of Naspers Classifieds, said in the statement. “We have seen first hand Alec’s ability to execute on his vision as we worked together to build OLX into the global force it is today. In Letgo, Alec has built a platform that is perfectly tailored to the American consumer, and we are excited to help his team take it to the next level.”