Neighborhood social network Nextdoor raises $123 million at $2.1 billion valuation

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Nextdoor, the social network aimed at local neighborhoods, has raised $123 million in a round of funding led by Riverwood Capital, with participation from Benchmark, Tiger Global Management, Kleiner Perkins, and an undisclosed “large global asset manager.”

This takes Nextdoor’s total raised to more than $400 million since its inception and gives it a valuation of $2.1 billion — around $600 million more than its reported valuation at its last round of funding in late 2017.

Founded out of San Francisco in 2010, Nextdoor is like Facebook, except it focuses on connecting people in local areas. While Facebook caters to these scenarios itself though Facebook Groups, Nextdoor’s laser focus on “local” has helped it continue to grow beyond the U.S. to the U.K., Germany, France, Italy, Spain, the Netherlands, and Australia, and it is now expanding to Sweden and Denmark.

The company doesn’t divulge numbers, but it does say that 236,000 neighborhoods globally connect through its platform.

“Around the world, there is a universal yearning for the connectedness of proximity,” explained Nextdoor CEO Sarah Friar, who replaced cofounder Nirav Talia back in October. “Neighbors everywhere still love and care about belonging and contributing to a tangible, real place, as evidenced by Nextdoor’s continued growth and expansion throughout the U.S., Europe, and Australia.”

Going local

Facebook has become so embroiled in privacy scandals, fake news, harassment, and more that CEO Mark Zuckerberg recently announced plans to get back to basics by making the platform more private and focusing on fostering meaningful relationships.

Nextdoor is no stranger to controversy itself, with reports emerging over the years that the platform has been a magnet for racial profiling, particularly in relation to local crime. But Nextdoor is specifically designed to let neighbors keep tabs on everything that’s going on in their locale — from helping someone source an electrician or babysitter to just chewing the fat. This kind of community-driven intimacy is perhaps what Zuckerberg would like Facebook to become known for as well.

Above: Nextdoor: Desktop and mobile

It’s worth noting that Amazon also branched out into local networking with the launch last year of its Neighbors app, powered by security camera maker Ring, which it had bought not long before. But Neighbors is more about reporting crimes and sharing the footage captured by Ring’s cameras, while Nextdoor has a much broader focus.

With another $123 million in the bank, the company plans to invest in recruitment and “cement Nextdoor as the essential local platform for neighbors around the globe,” according to a press release issued by the company. This will include pushing further into Europe, where it claims it’s growing 300% faster in 2019 so far than it did last year.

Riverwood Capital cofounder and partner Chris Varelas will also join Nextdoor’s board of directors as a result of the investment.

“We believe Nextdoor represents the future of local community and commerce — this investment reflects our collective belief in the power and opportunity in this space and the Nextdoor team,” Varelas said.

Source: VentureBeat

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