“Link in bio.” If you, like me, are constantly doomscrolling online, you’ve probably come across the phrase before. Between the endless conveyer belt of new social media platforms and the fact that most limit users to just one URL in their bio, it’s led to a growing demand for landing pages to house all those links. This week, one of the most popular of these link consolidation platforms, Linktree, raised a cool $US45 ($59) million to fund the development of its social commerce tools.
Linktree announced the news on Thursday following a Series B round of funding led by Index Ventures and Coatue, investors that have backed Discord and TikTok respectively, two rapidly growing online platforms. Just five months ago, Linktree, which boasts a community of 12 million users, raised another $US10.7 ($14) million in Series A funding.
“This funding, and the guidance from investors who’ve helmed the world’s biggest tech companies, will turbocharge our growth in social commerce and ultimately, help us continue to empower brands and creators all over the world,” wrote Linktree co-founder and CEO Alex Zaccaria in a blog post Thursday.
He went on to say that about 4 million users, or roughly a third of its community, signed up within the last three months. Likely due in part to the coronavirus pandemic pushing people online to connect with loved ones and/or dabble in some retail therapy.
Since Linktree’s launch in 2016, the company’s seen explosive growth. It now averages around 32,000 signups a day, a 300% year-over-year increase compared to March 2020, Zaccaria told Forbes. Unsurprisingly, competing services have also cropped up over the years, such as ContactInBio, Shorby, and, most recently, Beacons, to try to become the online landing page du jour. Even so, Linktree still commands the lion’s share of the market, Zaccaria said in an interview with TechCrunch this week. That’s thanks to, in part, its adoption rate among users from a wide range of backgrounds, from real estate to sports and politics and everything in between.
“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,” he told the outlet. “Our vision for how the platform will sit at the intersection of digital self-expression and action means we’re thinking boldly when it comes to our roadmap.”
This latest $US45 ($59) million in funding will go toward developing next-gen tools to facilitate social commerce, according to Linktree. Good on them for thinking ahead. Given the penchant of tech giants like Google and Facebook for “borrowing” popular online features from other companies, I figure it’s only a matter of time before we start seeing repackaged imitations roll out.