Panjo grabs $4.6 mln Series A


Panjo, a marketplace for auto, sport and hobby enthusiasts, has raised $4.6 million in Series A funding. Spark Capital led the round with participation from The New York Times Company, Fabrice Grinda, Lerer Ventures, BDMI, BEENOS Partners, Mucker Capital and Mesa.

PRESS RELEASE

Santa Monica, CA (November 12, 2015) – Panjo, the marketplace for automotive and sport enthusiasts announced today the closing of a Series A funding round of 4.6 million dollars to help continue the growth of the company’s marketplace. This brings the total investment in Panjo to 6.7 million dollars.

Panjo rescues buyers and sellers from the friction and fragmentation that cost them time and money. Unlike alternatives, Panjo’s community-based approach promotes the inspiration and discovery that drives enthusiast commerce. Among Panjo members, buyers live an average of 1,500 miles from the items they purchased. When the closest person with the part you need or want is that far away, in person exchanges are not an option. By aggregating supply, adding identity verification, and facilitating payments, Panjo saves and protects buyers and sellers.

The company plans to use this round of funding to expand the team. New community manager positions in a variety of verticals will ensure the continued quality of Panjo’s assemblage of community marketplaces. Panjo will continue releasing features that benefit buyers and sellers through reduced transaction costs.

“Panjo has built a strong community of enthusiast buyers and sellers, particularly in areas like automotive and sports,” says Andrew Parker, General Partner at Spark Capital. “Opening up their API will give devoted experts across many more areas of interest access to their technology and existing community.”

The company is also excited to open its platform to communities and clubs of all stripes. Panjo’s newly released API and marketplace platform enables community groups, clubs, and publishers to quickly launch peer-to-peer, mobile-optimized marketplaces.

The start-up company, founded by Chad Billmyer, Juan Vasconez, and Tom Gerken continues to grow its community marketplace among some of the most devoted enthusiasts in the automotive and sports arena. On average, panjo.com members are buying and trading nearly $10M in goods a month; some of the more popular items include wet shaving razors, Tesla Model S modifications, and Audi A5 parts.

“We are seeing more and more people using the marketplace as their go-to source for rare and hard to find items,” said Chad Billmyer, CEO of Panjo. “It’s humbling and a pleasure to serve the world’s foremost subject matter experts in a variety of auto, sport, and hobby categories. I learn something new from one of our community marketplace members everyday.” He added, “We maintain a file at Panjo called, ‘That’s a thing’ which helps us keep track of the obvious and non obvious community marketplace requests and suggestions that flow into us on a daily basis.”

The gross merchandise volume of sales increased 600% since the last round of financing. The key marketplace indicators have been steadily growing 10% week over week through 2015. Some new partners for Panjo include: TeslaMotorsClub.com, HobbyTalk.com, Audizine.com, BushcraftUSA.com, and more than 100 additional enthusiast community sites.

The idea for Panjo came about when Billmyer was buying and selling with frustration inside a hybrid car enthusiast community and realized the need for a safe community for passionate hobbyists to share and sell specialized items.
The company has official partnerships with web-based communities that serve Tesla, Audi, BMW, Porsche, Toyota and other enthusiasts in the sports and hobby categories.

About Panjo
The Panjo marketplace delivers joy to auto, sport, and hobby enthusiasts by helping them discover, buy, and sell rare and high-quality goods. The Panjo marketplace increases security, reduces administrative overhead, eliminates hassle, and creates an aggregated collection of the world’s most desirable goods for enthusiasts. Panjo powers dozens of community marketplaces for partners in categories including as cars, sports, and collectibles. For more information, visit www.panjo.com/about.

About Spark Capital
Spark Capital is a venture capital firm that partners with exceptional entrepreneurs seeking to build disruptive, world-changing companies. Founded in 2005, the firm manages approximately $1,500,000,000 across four funds. Headquartered in Boston, Spark maintains an office in New York and invests across the globe. The firm focuses on the following key categories: advertising & monetization, commerce & services, content & media, hardware & infrastructure, mobile and social. Spark Capital has backed notable companies including Twitter, Tumblr, Foursquare, AdMeld, OMGPOP, Warby Parker and Wayfair. For more information, visit www.sparkcapital.com.

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