This Mobile Classified App Just Raised $30M In an Effort to Dethrone Craigslist as Industry Leader
Craigslist has been the unquestioned leader in the online classified advertisement space, at least at a national level, for some time. A new mobile app that just raised a significant amount of funding is certainly not the first time a similar company has come out swinging in an effort to take them down, but this one might have the best shot of anyone prior. The application, which is called 5miles, was originally developed in China, but has made its way into the United States already.
According to Tech Crunch, the company recently raised $30 million in their latest round of investment funding, giving it serious credibility to take a shot at the big bad bully on the classifieds-industry block. In addition to the extra monetary backing the company now has, it has another big advantage: being incredibly mobile-friendly.
That’s because they 5miles was created that way. That, coupled with the fact that it’s free and includes AI-based search capabilities, has helped it win support not only in its home country, but in the U.S. as well.
The 5miles app was founded by Lucas Lu, a physics Ph.D who previously worked at Alibaba and the Chinese marketplace app Light in the Box. Lu developed the app in China, but when it came time to make some noise in the marketplace, he went back to Texas, a foreign place he was familiar with.
Lu had done some of his graduate work at Southern Methodist University and saw Dallas as a perfect opportunity to launch the app in the United States.
The initial look and feel of the app must be visually appealing to consumer because the average person will only stay on a site for about 10 seconds and so far, it seems to be a success.
According to The Dallas Morning News, Dallas and Houston are the app’s largest markets. 5miles has 12 employees working out of its U.S. headquarters in Dallas. In addition to the success it’s having in the Lone Star State, the app has been “soft launched” in many of the country’s other major markets, including Los Angeles, New York, Philadelphia, and Boston.
“We’ll continue to build out in existing markets so we’ll cover most of major cities in the U.S. by the end of next year 2017,” Lu said. He hopes to eventually expand to Europe, South America, and other areas of Asia.