Wallapop Biz Model: show me the money!

Posted on Posted in Sin categoría


If you don’t know it, just note that Wallapop is one of the many free apps which allows you sell your stuff of buy someone else’s.
Others are Vibbo (aka Segunda Mano) or the newest milanuncios (straight from the only-founder popular web) and the world leader (?) Craiglist.

Easy as pie.

Other facts are:
– Wallapop is recently known for their merge with LetGo for the US market.
– Also for the investments received in nearly 2 years life: over $100 million!

Now that we know this, our first impression is that we are dealing with some kind of “giant” and, after thinking a bit, it is legit to have some questions, the main one: where is the money?
Why investors keep on joining this project? How is Wallapop supose to monetize if the service front is “clean” (no ads)?

I.- not making money now does NOT mean there is no Business Model involved.
II.- W is obviously based in user growth at the moment.
III.- Investors (should) know something we don’t!

Is some way, this reminds me of Paul Stamatiou’s Tweet: “A million guys walk into a Silicon Valley bar. No one buys anything. Bar declared massive success.
After deductions, we can try to imagine what comes next:

Possibility no.0: no way W is charging to use the app. We have learnt the lesson from Whatsapp.
Possibility no.1: insert ads. Unlikely. Following Twitter model, this option will ironically insert ads in an ads app.
Possibility no.2: fee per transaction (and buy upcoming free competitors).
Possibility no.3: featured ads. Gumtree style! (how interesting this is!) Have you used Wallapop? Well… it is not always that you vini, vidi, vinci. It takes time (and lots of luck sometimes) to get ride of stuff, mostly when you are trying to sell your old toaster for a fiver and it is listed among other +1000 toasters. Not just price here.
-Hey, wait, but it is location-based.
-Yup, right. How many toasters in NYC or London within a mile?!

Possibility no.3 is most likely to be next. Unless you have something quite unique, pay for the ad if you really want to get rid of it.

And along came the Brit-ish Gumtree (actually, it was there since the very beginning -year 2000) in this bubble era of “buy-this-startup-for-millions” (for market reasons), which lead us to wonder whether Gumtree is buying Wallapop or the other way round, whether this is happening or not.
In any case, “featured ads”, folks.

As for our beloved Twitter. It is still a mistery. Honestly, I always thought they found an amazing, innovative, disruptive Business Model, but it looks like it might be becoming a philanthropic project.

Any thoughts?