Naspers Bet In Letgo Is Paying Off, Commits R6.7 Billion

“Letgo has established itself as one of the most promising startups in the world by injecting excitement, new technology and fresh thinking into a space that’s lacked all of the above for decades in the U.S.,” said Martin Scheepbouwer, CEO of OLX Group, through which Naspers has invested in Letgo.

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Letgo cofounders (left to right) Alec Oxenford, Enrique Linares and Jordi Castello (Photo: Business Wire)
Letgo cofounders (left to right) Alec Oxenford, Enrique Linares and Jordi Castello (Photo: Business Wire)

Naspers has committed to invest $500 million (R6.7 billion) of new capital into Letgo, enticed by the US-based second-hand marketplace app’s extraordinary growth and market opportunity.

In January 2017, Africa’s internet giant took a R1.4 billion gamble into Letgo. Its investment was seen by some US market commentators as making little sense as Naspers was viewed as a small unknown company from South Africa.

South African-based Naspers announced on Friday that it has already transferred $150 million into Letgo.

Letgo said the new financing will accelerate its growth, product evolution, expansion into new verticals and monetization efforts as it continues to make secondhand e-commerce an even bigger part of the sharing economy.

The investment is aimed at captured more growth opportunities after the 3-year-old startup has experienced phenomenal growth.

The company’s app has passed 100 million downloads, 400 million listings and 6 billion messages sent between users, with most of its users located in the U.S.

The number of monthly listers on its marketplace has grown 65% since the beginning of 2018, primarily driven by increased engagement and retention.

“We are extraordinarily fortunate to have investors who believe so strongly in our vision and team,” said Letgo cofounder Alec Oxenford.

“We are fueling unprecedented growth in the secondhand economy through meaningful innovation. Our app makes it simple for tens of millions of buyers and sellers to connect in their own neighbourhoods so they can put more money in their pockets, declutter their lives and put their space to better use.”

Naspers has built a global reputation as one of the world’s largest and most successful investors in internet startups through its stakes in Tencent, Flipkart and others.

“Letgo has established itself as one of the most promising startups in the world by injecting excitement, new technology and fresh thinking into a space that’s lacked all of the above for decades in the U.S.,” said Martin Scheepbouwer, CEO of OLX Group, through which Naspers has invested in Letgo.

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