Secondhand goods mobile marketplace letgo will absorb the operations of classifieds platform Wallapop in the US in an agreement, which will see the combined entity majority owned and managed by letgo.
The new venture will operate under the letgo brand on the letgo platform, bolstered by a capital injection of $100 million new funds from existing shareholders .
The deal follows what the companies describe as "very strong early growth" with plans to grow the business aggressively on the back of combined downloads in the tens of millions fueled by increasing consumer demand for a "streamlined, modern and mobile-first alternative to older platforms like Craigslist".
“Since launching last year, letgo has clearly tapped into the enormous and rising demand among consumers for a better way to buy and sell in their own neighborhoods,” says letgo co-founder Alec Oxenford.
“That is exactly why we have grown so quickly – with millions of downloads and even more items listed for sale. This partnership is a significant milestone for letgo and the industry as a whole, and is a substantial advantage as we continue to scale nationally.”
Wallapop co-founder and CEO Agustin Gomez adds the merger is a "game changer in the US mobile classifieds competitive landscape".
"letgo and Wallapop share a chemistry and an aligned vision that were key in making this deal a reality.”
letgo was founded in January 2015 by Oxenford and Jordi Castello. Enrique Linares soon after joined as founding CEO before the company launched its app publicly in May 2015.
Last year, letgo raised $100 million in Series A funding from Naspers Limited (JSE: NPN, LSE: NPSN), one of the largest technology investors in the world.
Both letgo and Wallapop are currently among the top shopping apps in the iOS and Android app stores. Available on iOS and Android devices in the US and worldwide, letgo is a hyperlocal marketplace optimized specifically for mobile use.
letgo’s simple and intuitive mobile design includes key features like search results that are automatically tailored to a user’s location, and instant chat that allows users to connect instantly and for free, without the hassles and delays of email.
With the partnership in place Naspers Classifieds CEO Martin Scheepbouwer says no one is better positioned than letgo to capitalize on the immense opportunity for growth in US classifieds.
Headquartered in the Netherlands letgo’s key product is a free app to buy and sell used goods locally. The mobile marketplace allows users to post an item for sale and create a custom, Hollywood-style ad in seconds, plus browse what’s for sale in their area, and chat instantly and privately with other buyers and sellers nearby.
Co founder Alec Oxenford, an expert and accomplished entrepreneur in ecommerce, previously founded and scaled global online classifieds leader OLX (co-founded by Fabrice Grinda), which has hundreds of millions of active users in India, Brazil, Poland and other growth markets around the world.
Wallapop is a fresh and pure mobile approach to traditional classifieds founded in Barcelona (2013). The app’s ease-of-use, immediacy and ultra-local approach have made Wallapop, in just two years, the leader in the Spanish C2C classifieds market and one of the top early mobile players in the US.