"Pinterest For Products" Wanelo Raises At North Of $100M
Adam Rifkin stashed this in Silicon Valley!
You wouldn’t think that a Pinterest where you can buy stuff would be one of the hottest Series A deals of the quarter, but it was.
Wanelo, a site that allows you to bookmark items that you like and, this is crucial, allows you to buy those items via direct links from the site, has been the prettiest girl at the party for the past month or two while it completes its raise.
Of course its popularity among investors is boosted by the fact that its mobile app is in the “Top 30 Free Apps” in the App Store currently (at No. 30) and has been oscillating between the No. 1 and No. 2 slots in “Free Lifestyle.” Yet, the high valuation for an e-commerce company is a surprise considering the sector is sharply divided into “Haves” and “Have Nots.” The company monetizes through affiliate commissions on items sold through the site.
Everybody wanted in on this deal: I’m hearing that VCs were literally begging for intros to Wanelo founder Deena Varshavskaya, and among the very interested was Sequoia.
The deal was closed last week, say sources, and the round was likely between $5 million to $10 million at “north of a $100 million” valuation. Rumor has it that a strategic investor (someone likeDST) and not a VC firm won the lead. So how do you explain such a high valuation for such a small check? “If Pinterest is the magazine, then Wanelo is the catalogue,” one investor told me on the investment’s appeal.
1. Isn't PINTEREST the "Pinterest for Products"?
2. Given Fab, Fancy, Pinterest, Amazon, and eBay, how much room is there for many players in discovery commerce?
Wanelo has grown rapidly. We're told its user engagement metrics are extraordinary and investors are thrilled. Things have been trending that way for a while; in June, Wanelo's Varshavskaya told TechCrunch that the average user was spending 16 minutes on her site. It's grown to 149,000 Facebook fans, up from 100,000 seven months ago.
Granted, Wanelo isn't making money yet either. But it's well-positioned to once it decides to start taking a cut of sales it refers.
According to ComScore, Wanelo pulled in 1,367,000 unique visitors in December, up from 743,000 the month prior. (Keep in mind it was the holiday season, which could account for a seasonal lift.)
That makes it half the size of Fab, which recently raised at a $700 million valuation, and larger than The Fancy.
1.4 million monthly actives == $100 million valuation. Wow.