The Swedish investment fund Vostok New Ventures has cashed out of Wallapop after six years in its shareholding. It does so after selling its 2.4% after the financing round that was executed in the first quarter of this year. For this sale of the securities, which was formally signed last week, the manager received €10 million. This implies a valuation of the startup of buying and selling second-hand products of just over 416 million, significantly lower than the one officially set after the capital increase led by the Korean company Naver.
Vostok is an investment fund based in Sweden, in whose market it has been listed for years, which specializes in internet companies and is a reference shareholder of companies such as the ride-sharing platform Blablacar. He landed in Wallapop in that year 2015 that marked the explosion of the company, with the irruption of large international funds and the ‘boom’ of its business. In that year he injected in three separate transactions a total of $ 8.4 million (7.5 million euros), which allowed him to control 4.7% of all shares. During this time, it has been systematically diluted, as it has not been accompanied in the various subsequent rounds, which reduced its position to 2.4%.
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On July 21, the fund completed the sale of all its shares in Wallapop for a total price of 11.8 million dollars (10 million euros), as reflected in the quarterly report just submitted to the Swedish stock market and which has been consulted by La Información. The management company simply assures that the agreed price is “in line” with the valuation at the close of June 30. In 2015 it put 7.5 million euros on the table, according to its own numbers, and six years later it adds up to around 10 million. That’s just from the sale of the shares. Although in the profitability of this investment a new concept would have to be added: that of the dividends received.
Just before the end of 2018, Vostok received 4.1 million dollars (just under 4 million euros) in dividends that came from the money received from the sale that Wallapop made of the percentage it held in the U.S. company Letgo. The South African giant Naspers, owner of some of the world’s leading classifieds platforms, paid 160 million euros to acquire the 45% stake. The vast majority of this money was divided among the various partners. Therefore, the Swedish fund has extracted almost 14 million, slightly less than double what it put on the table in 2015.
Differences in valuation
Despite the fact that it is not specified, everything points to the fact that this transaction was completed in the secondary market generated in that first quarter financing round, even though it was closed months later. But the difference in valuation between the two is very significant. The one officially reported by Wallapop and its new shareholders is €690 million, while the implied one from the sale of Vostok is €416 million. Official Wallapop sources declined to make any comment on the transaction and the differences.
So far, the price Vostok has been pricing the startup’s shares has been, especially, on revenue multiples. At the end of 2020, it tweaked that valuation upwards precisely because Wallapop’s budget posed a “revised revenue forecast”. Specifically, the Swedes claimed that the multiple was 9.2 times the sales forecast for this year 2021. Therefore, it would be close to $60 million (50 million euros at the exchange rate), coming from the Spanish market, as the company has decided to focus its efforts there. The valuation multiple announced by Wallapop would be 13.8.
Until last February, Wallapop’s core shareholding was divided among three large international private equity funds: Accel Partners, Insight Partners and 14W. Between the three of them, they accounted for almost 45% of the shares. But in this year’s round of financing, two new shareholders burst in and led the operation: Naver and Korelya Capital. The first is a Korean giant valued at more than 43 billion euros that has messaging applications such as Line and a search engine that still has a more or less significant position in the country -although Google has gained a lot of ground-. The second is a venture capital fund based in France but with links also with Naver – a significant shareholder of the management company – and with Glovo, of which it is a shareholder.
Precisely the Nordics are also shareholders of Glovo. It has been a partner that has been very under the radar and that, logically, has a relatively small percentage of the startup led by Oscar Pierre after it landed at the end of last year. In total they have invested $10.6 million (half invested this same fiscal year 2021). It does not provide a specific valuation, nor what percentage it holds after these operations.