The mobile app letgo, which provides a platform for users to buy and sell items locally, has been growing steadily over the last year and intends to accelerate.
This week, the company announced it has raised $100 million in Series A funding led by the South African-based media and tech company Naspers Limited, which also has interests in a range of other firms including China’s Tencent, India’s Flipkart, Russia’s Mail.ru, and classifieds platform OLX.
Letgo founder Alec Oxenford has a strong history in online classifieds. In fact, he was a co-founder of OLX. Oxenford intends to launch letgo into the US market. He said: “Letgo is perfectly tailored for the typical American consumer. It’s a fun, easy to use, and highly visual mobile marketplace that allows users to post, buy, sell and communicate with each other instantly and for free.”
In a market dominated by sites such as Craigslist and online marketplace eBay, some observers believe it could be tricky for letgo to find a foothold. Oxenford believes that a focus on the mobile platform can help the company grow.
“There has been a lack of innovation in the U.S. classifieds space, particularly when it comes to mobile,” he said. “We think letgo’s mobile first design, which is streamlined to make buying and selling locally easier and faster than ever, is a key advantage for our platform.”
The letgo app appears to be as innovative as Oxenford outlines. The contemporary feel is matched by its simplicity. It just takes a few taps for the user to be transferred to the retail space with clear images of the items they are looking for. It is also easy to communicate with other buyers and sellers in a Facebook-style approach.
Letgo is already successful, with more than 500,000 listings posted by users and three million messages exchanged. Letgo reports that $25 million worth of merchandise has changed hands via its platform, including items as diverse as bicycles and furniture.
With letgo receiving additional investment, it appears that the company’s growth is moving in the right direction. They are planning an aggressive marketing campaign in the U.S.
The letgo app is available on Android and iOS.