Whatnot raises $20M for its live streaming platform built for selling Pokémon cards and other collectibles – TechCrunch

When i first wrote Not what in Last year’s february, They were just getting started. Aim to be a male goat For collectible toys, they were first focused on moving to a reliable location to buy and sell Foco Pop figurines.

A few months later, as they expanded into categories such as pins and Pokemon cards, the company began creating a live shopping platform – think something along the lines of a TV shopping network, but swap studios and camera crews for fellow collectors. House with iPhones selling to viewers. The concept was already proving popular in China, and was starting to gain traction among collectibles buyers in the US … but a good portion of those American live streams were taking place on Instagram Live, who were actually bidding Or is not made for things like handling. Payment after sale. WhatsApp did not see a gap in the market, and wanted to fill it.

The move seems to be working well for the team. In late 2020, What Not raised a $ 4M seed round; A few months later, building on the momentum of its live shopping platform and expanding into many more categories of collectibles, it has raised another $ 20M.

The company tells me that this Series A round was led by Connie Chan of Andreessen Horowitz, and supported by YC, Wonder Ventures, Operator Partners, Scribble Ventures, Steve Aoki and Chris Zaru.

WhatsApp continues to offer a more traditional, non-livestreamed selling platform – but co-founder Grant LaFontaine told me that “95%” of the team’s focus is on the livestream of things.

“People really come to us for live, but then they’re like ‘eh, I don’t want to sell on 10 different platforms, so we give them the tools to be a one-stop shop,” he says Huh.

As I wrote back in December, “card break” is an increasingly popular type of live card on WhatsApp, in which:

Users deposit their money to purchase an entire box of trading card packs – often boxes that are no longer produced and can cost thousands of dollars to obtain. Each user gets a number, each number is tied to a pack (or packs) within the box. Each pack is opened on Livestream, with its contents (hopefully?) Linked to the number of that pack to the lucky owner.

So why raise more money? Lafontaine tells me that this is to help them expand into more categories, faster. The company currently focuses primarily on Pokemon cards, Funko Pops, Figpins, and sports cards, but they refer to such things as comic books, video games, and vintage hardware. Moving to a new category means building a community for it, expressing hope on your platform to trusted sellers and marketing it to the right buyers to make it worthwhile. In time, Lafontaine tells me, the team hopes to cover 100+ categories.