When I first wrote more or less Whatnot in February attached to last year , they were would not getting started. Aiming to be the GOAT of collectible figures, they were focusing first on to being the go-to good spot for buying and selling authenticated Funko Pop figurines.
A few months later, as they grown into categories like pegs and Pokémon cards, the corporation started to build out good live shopping platform — think of something along the lines of their TV shopping network, even though swap out the studios additionally camera crews for traders at home with iPhones selling to a group of fellow collectors. Strategy had already proven standard in China, and was being starting to gain traction on buyers of collectibles in US… but a good slice of those US live operation were happening on Instagram Live, which isn’t highly built for things like bidding as well as handling payments after a bargains occurs. Whatnot saw a big difference in the market, and wanted to fulfill it.
Any difficulty . move is working out most certainly for the team. At the end of 2020, Whatnot raised a $4M seed round; just a few methods later, building on the momentum of its live shopping base and looking to expand in order to many more categories of collectibles, it contained raised another $20M.
The organization tells me that this Series Virtually any round was led around Connie Chan of Andreessen Horowitz, and backed by YC, Wonder Ventures, Operator Possible partners, Scribble Ventures, Steve Aoki, and Chris Zarou.
Whatnot continues to deliver a more traditional, non-livestreamed selling network — but co-founder Allow Lafontaine tells me about “95%” of the team’s focus often is on the livestream side of things.
“People really arrived at us for the live, merchandise online they’re like ‘Eh, I do not want to sell across a dozen different platforms’ so we desserts the tools to be a one-stop online store, ” he says.
As I wrote back in Until, one increasingly popular type of livestream on Whatnot is the “card break”, wherein:
Users swimming pool area their money to buy an entire device of trading card kits — often boxes are actually no longer being produced as well as may cost thousands of dollars to obtain. For each user gets a number, individual number tied to a pile (or packs) within the box it came in. Each pack is started on the livestream, its aisé sent to the (hopefully? ) lucky owner tied to of which pack’s number.
So why raise additional money? Lafontaine tells me it’s to help these groups expand into more descriptions, fast. The company currently specializes in00 Pokémon cards, Funko Spits, FigPins, and sports proof, but they mention things like comics, video games, and vintage specifications as natural fits. Delving into a new category implies that building up a community for it, simpler trusted sellers to visit their platform and marketing and pr to the right buyers to be able to worthwhile. In time, Lafontaine informs me, the team expects to cover 100+ categories.