Live-Stream Shopping Platform Whatnot Raises $4 Million

By Dan Anderson ● Dec 27, 2020
  • Whatnot recently announced that it raised $4 million in a seed round of funding. These are the details.

Whatnot recently announced that it raised $4 million in a seed round of funding with participation from Scribble Ventures, Wonder Ventures, Operator Partners, Y Combinator, Liquid 2 Ventures, Twenty Two Ventures, and other investors. And the company plans to use the funds to invest in growing the team, scaling operations, and expanding into new categories including video games, comics books, designer toys, and vintage fashion.

How does Whatnot work? The first generation of online marketplaces created the opportunity for collectors and enthusiasts to transact with one another for the first time, but these platforms are also plagued by fraudulent activity with few safeguards for guaranteeing the authenticity and protect community members. Whatnot takes the guesswork and risk out of buying and selling items online. And it has also built a live streaming platform that enables its community to connect and interact in real-time to buy and sell the hottest collectibles & items they want.

Rather than focusing on the retailer-to-consumer relationship, Whatnot builds peer-to-peer connections within existing communities, driving high adoption and conversion. And while some sellers on Whatnot are small businesses, over 90% of Whatnot sellers are enthusiasts who buy and sell their favorite items as a hobby or side-hustle.

Since the company launched in December 2019, it has gained thousands of sellers and tens of thousands of buyers on the platform. And sales have grown on average of over 60% month over month and its most popular sellers have sold more than $2 million in items with the average livestream bringing in thousands of dollars in sales.

KEY QUOTES:

“Fandom had always had a place online, but truly thrived at in-person events and local retailers that catered to collectors and enthusiasts’ interest in one-of-a-kind and holy grail items. We built Whatnot not just to enable transactions, but to capture the fun of the in-person experience, so our communities can connect in real-time and geek out with their favorite sellers.”

– Whatnot co-founder and CTO Logan Head

“Live streaming is a $150B market in China, and retailers of all stripes are trying out live selling for themselves. We think that by tapping into the collectible and enthusiast communities, Whatnot is perfectly positioned to capitalize on live streaming’s early success in the US.”

– Dustin Rosen, Managing Partner, Wonder Ventures

“The collectibles industry is and always has been a huge business. Nostalgia is a powerful factor in many individuals’ lives. It is something that connects your everyday person to their favorite YouTube stars, Artists, and other celebrities. The interaction and strong community aspect has allowed Whatnot to help the everyday collector turn their hobby or passion into a successful business. With access to live auctions and sales, it lowers the barrier of entry for those that are looking to sell and provide live breaks of Pokemon, Sports, Yugioh, and all other collectible card games.”

– John Stibich (PokeRadar) on Whatnot