Linktree raises $45M to make a social commerce platform

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Linktree is raising $45M to build a social commerce platform.
Image: Linktree

If you’ve ever interacted with a celebrity or influencer on social media, there’s a good chance you’ve come across the phrase “Link in bio.”

This has become a popular way for people to promote their other websites, platforms, and products to an audience that has already been established. Of course, most people also have more than one thing they want to share. To avoid cluttering their bio with a handful of links, many people turn to Linktree, a rapidly growing startup headquartered in Australia.

Linktree lets users create a custom landing page with all of their promotional links in one place. Then, they can put a link to that landing page in their bio. When a follower clicks on the link, they’re taken to a Linktree page and can then browse all of the other links as well.

Now, Linktree has announced that it has raised $45 million in new funding to help build a social commerce platform.

Growing Quickly

Currently, Linktree has a community of roughly 12 million active users. That’s an impressive figure considering the company was only launched in 2016.

The startup experienced a massive spike in growth last year due to the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. With more people online, social media users were looking for new ways to connect with their audiences. Linktree added roughly four million users in 2020 alone—about a third of its total userbase.

That being said, the company isn’t new to growing quickly. It has been doing so since its launch. According to its co-founder and CEO, Alex Zaccaria, Linktree adds, on average, 32,000 new users every day.

So far, the startup has attracted users from every background imaginable, from gamers to athletes and politicians to YouTubers. That diversity has helped its subscriber numbers grow and will continue to do so in the coming years.

Thinking Ahead

Like any good product, once the market for it starts to heat up there will be new competitors. Linktree is already feeling the pressure from startups like Beacons, ContactInBio, and Shorby. That being said, there are advantages to being first.

Since Linktree popularized the idea of putting landing pages in social media bios, it controls the majority of the market. “We might have started as a link-in-bio tool, but over time Linktree has evolved and the platform has become a social identity layer of the internet,” Zaccaria says.

Still, the threat of Big Tech firms like Google and Facebook imitating the idea and stealing users is a concern. That’s why Linktree is thinking bigger.

Using its new funding, the startup intends to launch a social commerce platform. It isn’t clear exactly what Linktree has in store (no pun intended) but it will likely give users a way to sell merch through their Linktree landing page. That added functionality would help keep the startup ahead of its competitors.

Interestingly, the latest funding round includes participation from Index Ventures and Coatue. The firms also back TikTok and Discord, two of the fastest-growing platforms on the web today. Perhaps their expertise will help Linktree continue its phenomenal run.

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