Bellevue, Wash.-based OfferUp says it has closed a $119 million funding round, led by private equity firm Warburg Pincus. The round has been rumored for weeks, and it pushes the mobile marketplace to more than $210 million in total funding, the company announced Thursday.
OfferUp, a mobile alternative to Craigslist for buying and selling items locally, has long been thought to be the Seattle area’s only unicorn, a private startup valued at more than $1 billion. In an interview with GeekWire, OfferUp CEO Nick Huzar would not disclose the company’s exact valuation, but he did say this funding represents an up round, and confirmed that the valuation exceeds $1 billion.
OfferUp will use the money to continue to refine its online buying and selling experience and hire more people. Today, OfferUp has a huge presence across the U.S. — the app has 29 million total installs nationwide, Huzar said — but it hasn’t gone international yet.
“We are the dominant player in the U.S., and we also have global ambitions,” Huzar said. “We want to transform how people buy and sell locally across the world.”
New investors GGV Capital and Altimeter Capital and existing investors Andreessen Horowitz, T. Rowe Price, Vy Capital and Coatue Management and others joined in the round.
“The market of local buying and selling hadn’t changed significantly in two decades until Nick and Arean (Van Veelen) imagined what a smartphone could do to deliver an easier, faster and more enjoyable user experience,” Justin Sadrian, managing director of Warburg Pincus said in a statement. “That vision has helped expand the market, as people who never before posted items for sale have discovered how easy it is to use OfferUp.”
OfferUp has been growing quickly, going from about 40 employees a year ago to more than 100 presently. And the company is looking for more people. One key get came earlier this summer, when OfferUp brought in Peter Wilson, site director for Google’s expanding Kirkland campus, to be vice president of engineering.
Huzar wouldn’t say what OfferUp will add next to the platform, or where exactly its growth will be focused, but he does expect to beef up the company’s product and engineering teams.
“Our focus and our belief is that we really want to remove as much friction from the local buying and selling experience as we can and build trust into the experience. Everything we do will fall under that,” Huzar said.
With all that growth comes a need for more space. Right now, OfferUp occupies the first floor of a building within the Bellefield Office Park. The company is exploring a variety of options for more space, including expanding in its current building to looking for office space in downtown Bellevue.
OfferUp is on pace to process more than $14 billion worth of transactions this year and won App of the Year at this year’s GeekWire Awards. OfferUp’s growth was highlighted by Mary Meeker in her annual ‘Internet Trends’ report earlier this summer. Meeker found that users spend the same amount of minutes per day on the app as they do on Snapchat.