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Naver becomes biggest shareholder in Spain's No. 1 resell platform

(Yonhap)
(Yonhap)

In continued efforts to expedite its foray into the global consumer-to-consumer, or C2C, market, e-commerce platform Naver recently became the largest shareholder of Spanish secondhand marketplace Wallapop with an investment worth 75 million euros ($80.7 million), according to industry sources Thursday.

Following Naver's investment worth 115 million euros made in last February to acquire 10 percent of Wallapop's stocks, with the additional investment, Naver now stands as the largest shareholder of Wallapop with a 30.5 percent stake.

Wallapop is currently considered the largest resell trading platform in Spain with a 63 percent market share and 15 million users.

The mobile-based platform mainly facilitates sales of secondhand products, which range from everyday items such as clothing, electronic devices to cars, motorcycles and real estates.

“We agree with Wallapop’s philosophy of conscious consumption and are enthusiastic to develop international synergies, while supporting their growth with our technology," said Han Seong-sook, the head of its e-commerce business in Europe, in a statement released last February during its first investment in the Spanish resell platform.

"The global demand for C2C and resell platforms is growing with renewed commitment in sustainable consumption, especially by millennials and Generation Z," she added.

As for the kind of efforts Naver is putting in to advance the synergies between them, such as providing algorithms and artificial intelligence technologies, the company said the information could not be disclosed as of now.

Naver's investments in Wallapop follows its attempts to advance its C2C business portfolio in Europe, where e-commerce business revenue is expected to show an annual growth rate of 10.6 percent with a projected market volume of $1.3 trillion by 2027 according to German-based market data company Statista.

Naver had forged a partnership with pre-owned luxury fashion goods trading app Vestiaire Collective -- the biggest resale platform in Europe -- last year, by making an investment of an undisclosed amount in the France-based platform.

The internet giant is also planning on establishing a C2C global network which could potentially connect Korea, Japan, North America and Europe by purchasing Kream in South Korea, Vintage City in Japan and acquiring Poshmark, the largest social commerce marketplace in North America, with the company's largest-ever $1.31 billion acquisition deal.

"We have been paying close attention to the C2C market since the market started forming (online) with the judgment that Naver's commerce business method was similar to the C2C service method, where free transactions between numerous users were made." said Naver CEO Choi Soo-yeon during the announcement of its Poshmark acquisition on Friday.



By Lee Yoon-seo (yoonseo.3348@heraldcorp.com)
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