Whatnot, a platform for buying and selling collectibles, has recently announced a $150 million Series C funding round. The round was led by returning investor Andreessen Horowitz, with participation from other existing investors like Y Combinator, Scribble Ventures, Liquid 2 Ventures, and Wonder Ventures.
Whatnot was founded in 2019 by Grant LaFontaine and Logan Head, who met while working at mobile game company Scopely. The platform allows collectors and enthusiasts to buy and sell a wide range of collectibles, from Funko Pop figures to sports memorabilia to Pokémon cards. Whatnot differentiates itself from other marketplaces like eBay or Amazon by offering a more curated and social experience. Sellers can host live auctions and shows, where they can engage with potential buyers in real-time, showcase their products, and answer questions.
Since its launch, Whatnot has seen explosive growth, particularly during the pandemic, as more people turned to online shopping and collecting as a form of entertainment. According to the company, Whatnot has seen over 4,000% year-over-year growth in gross merchandise volume (GMV) and over 200% quarter-over-quarter growth in revenue. Whatnot has also expanded its team to over 100 employees and opened a second office in Orlando, Florida, in addition to its San Francisco headquarters.
The Series C funding round will be used to further accelerate Whatnot’s growth and expand its offerings. The company plans to invest in technology, particularly around improving its search and discovery features, as well as expanding its categories to include more verticals like vintage video games, watches, and sneakers. Whatnot also plans to invest in its community and content, offering more ways for sellers and buyers to interact and creating more original content around collectibles.
The funding will also enable Whatnot to expand its team and hire more talent across all functions, from engineering to customer support to marketing. The company plans to double its headcount over the next year and open new offices in Los Angeles and New York.
The Series C round brings Whatnot’s total funding to $200 million, following a $20 million Series A and a $12.5 million Series B. The company has raised a total of $150 million in the past six months, reflecting the strong demand for collectibles and the potential for growth in the space.
Whatnot is also poised to benefit from the broader trend of non-fungible tokens (NFTs), which have exploded in popularity in the past year. NFTs are unique digital assets that can be bought and sold on blockchain platforms, and they have been used to represent everything from art to music to sports highlights. Whatnot plans to explore the potential for NFTs in the collectibles space and is already working with some creators and influencers to launch exclusive NFT drops on its platform.
In a statement, Whatnot co-founder and CEO Grant LaFontaine said, “We’re thrilled to have the support of Andreessen Horowitz and our other investors as we continue to build the ultimate destination for collectors. We believe that Whatnot is uniquely positioned to capitalize on the growing demand for collectibles, and we’re excited to see what the future holds.”
The collectibles market is estimated to be worth over $200 billion, and Whatnot is one of several startups that are looking to disrupt the space. Other players include StockX, a marketplace for sneakers and streetwear, and Rally, which allows investors to buy and trade shares of collectible assets like classic cars and rare wines.
Whatnot’s success is a testament to the growing appeal of collectibles, particularly among younger generations. With more people looking to diversify their investments and find unique, memorable pieces, the collectibles market is likely to continue to grow in the years to come. And with Whatnot’s