Danggeun Market, the startup behind Karrot, South Korea’s largest neighborhood market and group app, introduced at present that it has raised a $33 million Series C. The spherical was led by Goodwater Capital and Altos Ventures.
The funding brings Danggeun Market’s complete raised up to now to $40.5 million. Its listing of buyers additionally embrace Kakao Ventures, Strong Ventures, SoftBank Ventures and Capstone Partners. Danggeun Market, which launched Karrot within the United Kingdom final November, will use a part of the funding to increase into extra worldwide markets and improve its monetization instruments.
One of Karrot’s most original options is that its peer-to-peer market solely exhibits folks listings from sellers positioned inside a six-kilometer radius (the space is ready barely wider for extra distant areas), and most transactions are accomplished in individual. As a security measure, all consumer identities are verified by way of their cell numbers and site.
In a name with TechCrunch, Danggeun Market co-founder and co-CEO Gary Kim and vp Chris Heo mentioned Karrot’s mannequin works due to the excessive inhabitants density in lots of South Korean cities. As the app launches abroad, the corporate will deal with different densely populated areas, particularly ones that don’t have already got a dominant neighborhood market app.
Danggeun Market deliberate to enter three new international locations this yr, however slowed the tempo of its growth due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Instead, it’s going to deal with enhancing its group options in South Korea, with the aim of launching in no less than one new nation by the tip of this yr.
Danggeun Market was based in 2015 by Gary Kim and Paul Kim, each of whom beforehand labored at KakaoDiscuss, South Korea’s largest messaging app. Before Danggeun Market launched, the preferred on-line secondhand market in South Korea was web site Joonggonara, but it surely didn’t have a cell app.
Being designed for smartphones helps Karrot differentiate from different peer-to-peer marketplaces. For instance, its distance limits make listings simpler to identify, and in addition encourages interactions amongst neighbors. Its strategy to neighborhood networking can also be the inspiration of the corporate’s monetization mannequin. Instead of charging itemizing charges, the app is free to make use of, and the corporate makes cash by way of hyperlocalized promoting.
Danggeun Market says its month-to-month lively customers have grown 130% year-over-year, reaching seven million in April and making Karrot the second-largest buying app in South Korea after Coupang, the nation’s largest e-commerce platform. Users spend a median of 20 minutes per day on the app, and gross merchandise worth elevated by 250% year-over-year, regardless of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Heo mentioned the variety of listings on the app really grew from 4.Four million in January to eight.Four million in April, as extra folks hung out at house and located issues they needed to do away with, and in addition most popular to stay inside their neighborhoods. Danggeun Market’s group options additionally noticed a soar within the variety of postings made.
Heo mentioned face-to-face transactions continued, as a result of many South Koreans have been already used to carrying masks and different security measures that have been ramped up through the pandemic. The firm added a brand new function referred to as Karrot Help, with instruments to assist match folks with neighbors who wanted assist operating errands and a masks stock checker for close by pharmacies, and carried out instruments to routinely management the value of masks listings and forestall profiteering.