OLX, the Craigslist for the rest of the world, has raised $5 million in Series C funding from General Catalyst Partners, Bessemer Venture Partners, Founders Fund and DN Capital, bringing the total funding raised to $28.5 million. OLX raised $13.5 million in Series B funding in April 2008 from the same investors as above, and raised an undisclosed Series A round of $10 million in September 2006 with the same VCs and various angels participating.
While the free classifieds site has trouble competing with Craigslist in the U.S., OLX has a strong user base internationally. With a presence in more than 87 countries in 39 languages, OLX’s popularity lies mainly in Spain, India, Portugal, Mexico, South America, China, and the Philippines.
Fabrice Grinda, founder and CEO of OLX says the new investment will be used to make new acquisitions, implement site improvements, expand globally, and pursue aggressive marketing initiatives. In 2007 OLX has made an investment in Edeng.cn, a Chinese free classifieds site and acquired Mundoanuncio.com, a Craigslist-like classifieds site targeting the Hispanic market, in 2006. Much of its success in the Philippines can be attributed to its white label partnership with Friendster. Its offices are also spread over the globe with 125 employees (OLX has added almost 35 employees since last year) working in New York, Buenos Aires, Beijing, and Moscow.
While OLX may play second fiddle to Craigslist in the U.S., the site prides itself on being a second-generation free classifieds site, complete with Web 2.0 features such as social network widgets, better search capabilities, interactive maps, and mobile functionality. Craigslist has recently been under scrutiny by Attorney Generals over prostitution and the “Craigslist Murder” that have taken place in conjunction with the site. eBay’s Kijiji is also a competitor in the space, but Kijiji has set its sights on catching up to Craigslist in the U.S., even considering a name change.