Los Angeles Business Journal

Hobbyist Startup Raises $1.6 Million

By Natalie Jarvey Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Six months after graduating from accelerator program MuckerLab, e-commerce startup Panjo has raised a round of seed funding.

The Santa Monica company announced Tuesday that it raised $1.6 million, led by Boston's Spark Capital with participation from Bertelsmann Digital Media Investments, Lerer Ventures and Mesa, all of New York.

Founded by Chad Billmyer, Juan Vasconez and Tom Gerken, Panjo is an online marketplace for hobbyists looking for items such as auto parts or sports paraphernalia.

The company, which charges fees to sellers on its site, said it is already facilitating more than $500,000 in monthly gross merchandise sales. Its website said there were more than 5,000 listing available as of July 23.

Panjo said it will use the financing to grow its marketplace, which currently only lists four categories – automotive, sports and outdoors, clothing and accessories and pets – and expand its partner network. It will also develop a mobile app.