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Spain’s Wallapop raises $191M at an $840M valuation for its classifieds marketplace

Through all of the last year's lockdowns, venue closures and other social distancing measures that governments have enacted and people have followed to slow the spread of COVID-19, shopping — and specifically e-commerce — has remained a consistent and hugely important service. It's not just something that we had to do; it's been an important lifeline for many of us at a time when so little else has felt normal. Today, one of the startups that saw a big lift in its service as a result of that trend is announcing a major fundraise to fuel its growth.

Wallapop, a virtual marketplace based out of Barcelona, Spain that lets people resell their used items, or sell items like crafts that they make themselves, has raised €157 million ($191 million at current rates), money that it will use to continue growing the infrastructure that underpins its service, so that it can expand the number of people that use it.

Wallapop has confirmed that the funding is coming at a valuation of €690 million ($840 million) — a significant jump on the $570 million valuations sources close to the company gave us in 2016.

The funding is being led by Korelya Capital, a French VC fund backed by Korea's Naver, with Accel, Insight Partners, 14W, GP Bullhound and Northzone — all previous backers of Wallapop — also participating.

The company currently has 15 million users — about half of Spain's internet population, CEO Rob Cassedy pointed out to us in an interview earlier today, and has maintained a decent No. 4 ranking among Spain's shopping apps, according to figures from App Annie.

The startup has also recently been building out shipping services, called Envios, to help people get the items they are selling to the buyers, which has expanded the range from local sales to those that can be made across the country. About 20% of goods go through Envios now, Cassedy said, and the plan is to continue doubling down on that and related services.

Naver itself is a strong player in e-commerce and apps — it's the company behind Asian messaging giant Line, among other digital properties — and so this is in part a strategic investment. Wallapop will be leaning on Naver and its technology in its own R&D, and on Naver's side it will give the company a foothold in the European market at a time when it has been sharpening its strategy in e-commerce.

The funding is an interesting turn for a company that has seen some notable fits and starts. Founded in 2013 in Spain, it quickly shot to the top of the charts in a market that has traditionally been slow to embrace e-commerce over more traditional brick-and-mortar retail.

By 2016, Wallapop was merging with a rival, LetGo, as part of a bigger strategy to crack the U.S. market (with more capital in tow).

But by 2018, that plan was quietly shelved, with Wallapop quietly selling its stake in the LetGo venture for $189 million. (LetGo raised $500 million more on its own around that time, but its fate was not to remain independent: it was eventually acquired by yet another competitor in the virtual classifieds space, OfferUp, in 2020, for an undisclosed sum.)

Wallapop has for the last two years focused mainly on growing in Spain rather than running after business further afield, and rather than growing the range of goods that it might sell on its platform — it doesn't sell food, nor work with retailers in an Amazon-style marketplace play, nor does it have plans to do anything like move into video or selling other kinds of digital services — it has honed in specifically on trying to improve the experience that it does offer to users.

“I spent 12 years at eBay and saw the transition it made to new goods from used goods,” said Cassedy. “Let's just say it wasn’t the direction I thought we should take for Wallapop. We are laser-focused on unique goods, with the vast majority of that secondhand with some artisan products. It is very different from big box.”

Wallapop's growth in the past year is the result of some specific trends in the market that were in part fuelled by the COVID-19 pandemic.

People spending more time in their homes have been focused on clearing out space and getting rid of things. Others are keen to buy new items now that they are spending more time at home, but want to spend less on them. In both cases, there has been a push for more sustainability, with people putting less waste into the world by recycling and upcycling goods instead.

At the same time, Facebook hasn't really made big inroads in the country with its Marketplace, and Amazon has also not appeared as a threat to Wallapop, Cassedy noted.

All of these have had a huge impact on Wallapop's business, but it wasn't always this way. Cassedy said that the first lockdown in Spain saw business plummet, as people were restricted to leave their homes.

“It was a roller coaster for us,” he said. “We entered the year with incredible momentum, very strong.”

He noted that the drop started in March, when “not only did it become not okay to leave the house and trade locally but the post office stopped delivering parcels. Our business went off a cliff in March and April.”

Then when the restrictions were lifted in May, things started to bounce back more than ever before, nearly overnight, he said. “The economic uncertainty caused people to seek out more value, better deals, spending less money, and yes they were clearing out closets. We saw numbers bounce back 40-50% growth year-on-year in June.”

The big question was whether that growth was a blip or there to say. He said it has continued into 2021 so far. “It's a validation of what we see as long-term trends driving the business.”

“The global demand for C2C and resale platforms is growing with renewed commitment in sustainable consumption, especially by younger millennials and Gen Z,” noted Seong-sook Han, CEO of Naver Corp., in a statement. “We agree with Wallapop's philosophy of conscious consumption and are enthused to support their growth with our technology and develop international synergies.”

“Our economies are switching towards a more sustainable development model; after investing in Vestiaire Collective last year, wallapop is Korelya’s second investment in the circular economy, while COVID-19 is only strengthening that trend. It is Korelya’s mission to back tomorrow’s European tech champions and we believe that NAVER has a proven tech and product edge that will help the company reinforce its leading position in Europe,” added Fleur Pellerin, CEO of Korelya Capital.

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The Most Profitable Digital Product Ideas in 2021 (and How to Sell Them)


A series of digital products icons : music, video, art, fitness Digital products can be created and sold repeatedly to different customers without having to replenish your inventory, making them ideal for creatives, artists, educators, and freelancers looking for new income streams that require less effort to maintain. Here’s how you can start selling your own digital products, along with some ideas for businesses you can build around these intangible goods.

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Ecommerce website looking for legit sustainable packaging.

Trying to find a biobased and biodegradable packaging solutions for my products. What do you use?

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Starting over trying to build an e-commerce brand and business from the beginning, website feedback and advice?

Since I was really young having my own business and being my own boss was something I wanted. I wanted to be an engineer and build my own products to sell but life took me a different direction and I still have interest in creating my own products but don’t have the engineering background. I’m currently 23 and have a big interest in technology and solar power, electronics, and other outdoor gear. 2 years ago I used my own money and researched products on Alibaba that fit my interest like foldable solar panels, solar power banks, waterproof outdoor flashlights, and some other outdoor gear and gadgets and bought some to start my own online business. I have made barely any sales on my website probably because it’s easier to go on Amazon and get prime shipping and because it’s a saturated market. I have however listed the products on Facebook market place and other used sites and have made probably $4000-5000 in sales in the last 2 years which is something. The solar power banks, foldable solar panels, and flashlights have been the main sellers while 6/9 products havent sold because they were terrible buys and over saturated. I wanted to sell things I was passionate about rather than something that didn’t interest me because I thought I could sell it better. The one amazing break I’ve had is a good family friend runs outdoor programs for youth and has decided to use my business West Coast Gadgets as his supplier for gear. In the last 4 months I’ve used alibaba to order more outdoor gear for him like sleeping bags, air mattresses, waterproof bags etc. Other than him I haven’t made sales lately and I want to restart my business and give it everything I’ve got. I would love it if people had some advice on where to go from here, books to read? Advice on how to build my brand and name? Feedback on my website www.westcoastgadgets.com I’ve made a lot of mistakes from not doing proper research on the market building my social media but I have a lot of stock left in my house and I want to move it out keep moving upward. Thank you.

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Facebook banned my page.. it literally had no info on it!!!

What is the easiest way to make a new account or page without getting it banned. I literally made a Instagram account and then a Facebook page. Only info it had on it was a email for my business which I’ve never used on Facebook before. Went to connect Instagram and Facebook and it told me I was banned from advertising and everything. Thing is what did I get banned for I didn’t even post any products or anything lol.

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What is a reasonable ROAS to expect for a well build Google Ads Ecommerce Account? (Search, Display & Shopping Ads)

I know this is a very hard thing to estimate, but:

I am a Google ads marketer specialized in paid search who is taking on more e-commerce product clients. I am working with a new client selling weighted blankets and their ROAS has floated between 2.5 and 5 over the last few months as they have spend 3-6k USD a month on ads. The account was poorly set up and I have optimized the bid strategies and everything else, so:

I am curious if anybody can give my insight into what they might expect I can see as a range of what the average ROAS on eCommerce item/product-based accounts typically receive.

I'm also curious if anybody has details or tips on how to spend more budget and scale an account without seeing ROAS drop with each lift in monthly spend? Or is that unavoidable?

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How much have you paid for your site?

Hi guys!

I want to open my own e-commerce site for a niche with around 100-500 products and not so much daily traffic (1000 customers per day). I would like a custom design, with no template involved. I have to mention that I have my own server, images, and logo.

How much shall I pay in general for this kind of site.

I would like to hear your opinion. Thx for helping!

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Jumia narrows losses, as its payment service grows in financial results

After years of losses, African e-commerce giant Jumia claimed significant progress towards profitability in its Q4 2020. Backing that claim, Jumia reported record gross profit and some improvements to its cost structure.

The company wrote in its earnings release that while “2020 has been a challenging year operationally with COVID-19 related supply and logistics disruption,” it had also proven “transformative” for its business model.

Let's examine its financial results to see how Jumia fared during the pandemic year and see if we can see the same path to profitability discussed in its written remarks.

The results

Jumia's core metrics were uneven in 2020. The company saw its user base grow by 12% in 2020, from 6.1 million customers in 2019 to 6.8 million customers. That means the company added 700,000 customers in 2020 compared to the 2 million customers it acquired the year before.

Other metrics were negative. The company's gross merchandise value (GMV), the total worth of goods sold over a period of time, grew 23% from the previous quarter to €231.1 million. The company said this was a result of the Black Fridays sales in the quarter. However, when compared year-over-year, Q4 GMV was down 21% “as the effects of the business mix rebalancing initiated late 2019 continued playing out during the fourth quarter of 2020,” Jumia wrote.

Image Credits: Jumia

In terms of orders made on the platform, Jumia saw a 3% year-over-year drop from 8.3 million in Q4 2019 to 8.1 million in Q4 2020But while the company's metrics were mixed during Q4 and the full-year 2020 period, there were encouraging signs to be found.

Last year, Jumia's Q4 gross profit after fulfillment expense was €1.0 million. We reported at the time that the number's positivity was commendable if merely another mile of the company's path to profitability

The company built on that result in 2020, allowing it to report a record gross profit after fulfillment expense result of €8.4 million in the final quarter of last year. From a full-year perspective, the numbers are even starker, with Jumia managing just €1.5 million in 2019 gross profit after fulfillment expense; in 2020, that number grew to €23.5 million.

That Jumia managed those improvements while seeing its 2019 revenues of €160.4 million slip 12.9% in 2020 to €139.6 million is notable.

JumiaPay and improvement in losses and expenses

There are other metrics that are encouraging for Jumia.

Its gross profit reached €27.9 million in 2020, representing a year-over-year gain of 12%. Sales and Advertising expense decreased year-over-year by 34% to €10.2 million, while General and Administrative costs, excluding share-based compensation, came to €21.8 million in the year, falling 36% year-over-year.

In 2019, Jumia incurred a massive €227.9 million in losses, a 34% increase from 2018 figures of €169.7 million. But that changed last year as Jumia reported a smaller €149.2 million in operating losses, representing a 34.5% decrease from 2019

Turning from GAAP numbers to more kind metrics, Jumia's Q4 2020 adjusted EBITDA loss also decreased. The company recorded an adjusted EBITDA of -€28.3 million in the final quarter of 2020, falling 47% year-over-year from 2019's €53.4 million Q4 result. For the full 2020 period, Jumia reported €119.5 million in adjusted EBITDA losses, down 34.6% from FY19's -€182.7 million result.

Jumia lost less money on an adjusted EBITDA basis in 2020 of any of its full-year periods we have the data for. Still, the company remains deeply unprofitable today and for the foreseeable future.

Fintech

Jumia's fintech product, JumiaPay, has been a factor behind its improving metrics.

In Q1 2020, it processed 2.3 million transactions worth €35.5 million. That number grew to €53.6 million from 2.4 million transactions in Q2 2020. In the third quarter of last year, it recorded 2.3 million transactions with a payment volume of €48.0 million. For Q4, JumiaPay performed 2.7 million transactions worth €59.3 million.

In total, JumiaPay processed 9.6 million transactions with a total payment volume (TPV) of €196.4 million throughout 2020. TPV increased by 30% in Q4 2020 from its 2019 result and 58% in 2020 as a whole.

JumiaPay is a critical part of Jumia's business, as 33.1% of its orders in Q4 2020 were paid for with the service, up from 29.5% in Q4 2019.

Share price and optimism around profitability

Jumia went public in April 2019. Since opening as Africa's first tech company on the NYSE at $14.50 per share, the company's stock has been on a rollercoaster ride.

It traded at $49 per share at one point before battling with scepticism about its business model, fraud allegations, and shorting by Andrew Left, a well-known short-seller and founder of Citron Research. What followed was the company's share price crashing to $26 before reaching an all-time low of $2.15 on the 18th of March 2020.

Later, Left made a reversal after claiming Jumia had handled its fraud problems. He took long positions at the company and later proposed it would hit $100 per share. That change in market sentiment, coupled with the fact that Jumia changed its business model and halted operations in Cameroon, Rwanda, and Tanzania, enabled its share price to climb back, reaching an all-time high of $69.89 this February 10th.

Before today's earnings call, Jumia was trading at $48.81. Since dropping its latest data, the company's share price has expanded by around 10% to just over $54 per share as of the time of writing, indicating investor bullishness despite its continued operating and adjusted EBITDA losses

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Instagram ad page hasnt worked for months (says there is an error – pic attached) please help!

Pic of the screen it gives me: https://imgur.com/a/14MITY6

I have tried deleting the app, logging out and in etc. It works on my other accounts but I can’t promote on this one business account I have. Help please!

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Brainity and other Shopify apps for paid advertising?

Hi,

I’m on Shopify and I’m considering using Brainity to help me automate my facebooks ads, but I’m a little sceptical as to how well it could possibly work. The website only says it will help build and optimise funnels, but I feel like that’s quite vague!

My current ads are decent (CTR 2-5%, above average engagement/quality etc. and I think I’m targeting well), but my ROAS stays at 1.5x and I don’t know how to increase it after the ad build to a more profitable 3-4x. Do you think an app like Brainity would help or would you recommend something else?

What should my expectations be with Brainity with regards to budget (I can spend £200-400/month) and when could I expect to see results, if any?

Thanks so much!

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