Whatnot is a community marketplace that provides members with a safe place to meet online to share their collectible items for buy, sell and trade. It's a platform for collectors interested in buying and selling authentic collectible items of all kinds. It's also a place where avid collectors can come together to discuss their shared interests over a wide variety of items and categories.
The e-commerce company has been doing remarkably well in recent months. Their wild success has made the news with its explosive growth. If you're not yet familiar with the company, here are 20 things you probably didn't know about Whatnot.
1. Whatnot is a fairly new startup
According to Crunchbase, Whatnot is a new company. The company officially launched in December of 2019. The marketplace has only been operational for just 2 years as of October of 2021. It's remarkable how fast the business has grown in such a short time.
2. Whatnot is an American startup
Whatnot's headquarters are in Marina del Rey, California. The company has two founders. They are Grant LaFontaine and Logan Head. The legal name of the business is Whatnot, Inc. It's one more California-based company that is thriving under the current pandemic conditions.
3. Whatnot is a versatile business
Whatnot has a narrow focus. Listings on the internet place it across four different industries. It is a marketplace that provides a safe space for avid collectors of all kinds to meet and discuss their passions. It is also listed under the collectibles category because this is the theme. It's where you can find collectibles of all kinds. Whatnot is an e-commerce business that provides a trading platform for buying, selling, and trading items in an online environment.
4. Whatnot uses a complex array of technologies
The Whatnot website actively uses nineteen technologies to provide its users with a smooth and seamless experience. These technologies spread across multiple technology products and services. Some of them include iPhone Mobile Compatible, SSL by Default, Viewport Meta, and many others.
5. Whatnot has a solid flow of users
The analytics for the Whatnot website show positive data. The numbers reveal that there has been a sold stream of monthly visitors over the past 30 days. A total of 73,730 visitors used the website or at least checked it out. This number has resulted in Whatnot achieving a rank of 345,075 of the millions of websites registered on the world wide web.
6. Whatnot is the most popular in the United States
The highest volume of visitors to the Whatnot website are from the United States. Eighty-nine percent of the web traffic is from people who live in this country. Three percent of the visitors are from Canada. Three percent of the visitors to the Whatnot website are from India.
Over the past thirty days, interest in Whatnot has increased by a whopping 258.83 percent from visitors in India. One percent of the web traffic originates in Germany and one percent from Australia. These statistics are important for key decision-makers at Whatnot. It provides them with useful information about where the highest interest in the products and services lie. It gives them an idea of where to expand the company into next based on interest and the potential for establishing the most successful outreach throughout the world.
7. Whatnot has a small executive leadership team
The executive leadership team at Whatnot is small, but it is dynamic. It is comprised of just three members. Grant LaFontaine is the co-founder of the company. Logan Head is a co-founder who also serves as the chief technology officer at Whatnot.
Gustavo Adolfo Costa Borges is a software architect at Whatnot. The core executive leadership team is supported by a larger staff of engineers and other business professionals. They work together to make Whatnot the raging success that it currently is today.
8. Whatnot is a venture capital-backed business
Whatnot has participated in six rounds of venture capital fundraising. The most recent round closed on September 15, 2021. it was a Series C round of funding. Remarkably, Whatnot has received so much investor interest as it has only been in operation for less than two years. The total amount of funding raised is $224.7 million.
9. Investor confidence in Whatnot is high
Whatnot is funded by a total of twenty-three investors. The most recent to join the efforts include Andreessen Horwitz and Andre Iguodala. These investors are joined by Zion Williamson, Logan Paul, Nilam Ganenthiran, Y Combinator Continuity Fund, Capital G, also a lead investor, Gokul Rajaram, DJ Skee, and several other investors who have chosen to remain anonymous at this time.
10. Whatnot is a privately held enterprise
Whatnot is a privately owned business. The owners decided to keep the business as a privately owned company that is not available for investment to the public. This is why you won't find any shares of Whatnot stock available on any of the public stock exchanges. They've not yet filed for an initial public offering. Our research revealed no indication that this is in Whatnot's plans for the near future.
11. Whatnot is a live streaming venue
According to Techcrunch, Whatnot's shopping platform is a specialized marketplace. It includes live streaming features that allow collectors to talk eye to eye with one another. This helps collectors to know a little more about the person that they're talking to and it lets them confirm that they're not dealing with auto-generated messages or others who may be trying to con them out of their collectibles. It provides face-to-face interactions and a safer environment that most users appreciate. 1
12. Whatnot is a unicorn status company
We also learned that Whatnot has achieved an impressive valuation of $1.5 billion. That's not bad for a business that has only been in operation for less than two years.
This was the latest estimation after the close of its Series C round of venture capital fundraising that brought in an additional $150 million from investors. Whatnot has joined ranks with the growing number of elite businesses that are members of the exclusive unicorn group with a valuation of at least $1 billion or more.
13. Whatnot protects its users
Whatnot provides a safe environment for serious collectors to buy and sell from one another. It helps to ensure the safety of all parties by making sure that everyone who uses the site to buy, sell, or trade is verified. This is a process that involves confirmation of key bits of information about the sellers to ensure that they are who they say and that they have a positive record for conducting honest transactions with their customers. There is also a process for ensuring that all items sold are authentic and as represented. It gives members peace of mind that they're not going to get ripped off.
14. Whatnot covers the gamut
If you're looking for a specific type of collectible item, you'll likely find it listed on Whatnot. The site covers almost all types of collectibles with an emphasis on what is currently trading in popularity.
Buyers in most cases know exactly what they're getting, but sometimes, a mystery bag will be offered on their auction sites. Video auctions are very popular on Whatnot. With rare exceptions, bidders can see exactly what they are vying for against other collectors. Some of the items that are popular now include Funko Pops, rare Pokemon cards, vintage clothing, sneakers, pins, sports cards, and multiple other categories.
15. Whatnot is expanding its scope
When Whatnot first launched its collectibles platform, the focus on the type of items on the site was fairly narrow. It launched as a collectible site for avid Funko Pops collectors. Since that time it has grown and expanded to include the other categories listed above, and more. The first months of the platform did not offer the live streaming feature. It was more or less a marketplace for the resale of collectible items.
16. Whatnot onboard reputable sellers
Whatnot is always looking for new sellers to join their marketplace, but they're selective and particular about who is allowed to join. Each seller approved has to meet a set of requirements. They must already be known in their respective communities and they must already have established a positive reputation with their customers. It only takes one sketchy move to get hiked off of the platform, and every streamer that is on the platform is vetted by the company before they are allowed to go live.
17. Whatnot is planning a huge expansion
LaFontaine, co-founder of Whatnot shared his vision for the future of the startup. He is eying thousands of category potentials to expand Whatnot's current offerings. They're also working on a way for streamers to import their NFTs into the Whatnot platform to display them on-screen with overlays in the live stream either in animated or static formats.
The onscreen NFT will offer a feature that allows viewers to simply lap on the NFT to learn more about it with a host of metadata that will be supplied on-demand. His comments suggest that Whatnot is preparing to make yet another huge expansion for the categories of items that they offer on the marketplace.
This is exciting news for collectors, but he did not elaborate as to how many new categories will be added or what they may be. Whatever the changes are, will likely result in a massive growth in the membership, which in turn will lead to the need for Whatnot to also increase the headcount of its workforce to keep up with the vetting of new sellers and streamers.
18. Whatnot earns revenue from each sale
We also learned that Whatnot earns revenue from each sale that is made on the site. The cut that it takes is 8 percent. The GMV, or total of all items that are sold through the Whatnot marketplace is up by thirty times the numbers of sales that it had during the beginning of 2021. This is an astronomical figure, and it is in part by the increase in online use because of the massive shutdowns and more people staying at home these days.
19. Whatnot is working on a rebuild
Whatnot is preparing for yet more changes as it continues to modernize the operation to stay up with current technologies and demands for excellence. Due to a large number of mobile users, the company is preparing for a total rebuild of its current Android and iOS apps. A new UI will make the processes smoother for buyers and sellers and easier to use.
It's expected that it will be shipped to all members within a few weeks. It's also rolling out a new pre-bidding feature that will let members place bids on an item before it is placed on the live stream. This will help them to offer their maximum bid without being present during the auction. It's no guarantee they'll get the item if they're outbid during the live auction, but at least it will give them a chance.
20. Whatnot is not currently hiring
According to LinkedIn, there are no jobs listed on the Whatnot site. The company currently has a workforce of 80 members. If it moves ahead with its plan to add more categories to the marketplace, it's probably going to need more workers to handle the influx of new sellers and buyers.
For now, the company is in a holding pattern. They're focusing mostly on using the engineering staff that they have to complete the new technical features that are about to roll out for existing members. Whatnot is careful to take care of the matters at hand before moving out in new directions. It's a smart strategy that includes careful planning before making a move.
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Written by Allen Lee
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