Mar 16, 2022 - Economy & Business

"Link-in-bio" startup Linktree raises $110 million

Illustration of a Rolodex with tabs indicating various social media apps.

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Linktree, the Australian startup best known for its popular "link-in-bio" tool, has raised $110 million at a $1.3 billion valuation, led by Index Ventures and Coatue Management, with AirTree Ventures, Insight Partners and Greenoaks also participating.

Why it matters: As more social media and online content apps appear, Linktree and its investors are betting that it can serve as a unifying "digital business card" amid an increasingly fragmented landscape.

Background: Linktree was founded in 2016 by brothers Alex and Anthony Zaccaria, and Nick Humphreys, who were running a digital agency at the time, and needed an easier way to manage their clients' many social media links.

  • Today, the company says it has more than 24 million users, most of which don't pay for its premium tier.
  • Former Twitch exec Mike Olson is joining the company as its new president.

Between the lines: "Facebook as the directory — that was actually a good solution for this when Facebook was the only place online where you could learn about somebody," explains Coatue Ventures chairman Dan Rose, previously a longtime Facebook exec.

  • "What’s happened in the 15 years since then... we all have our identities online, but it’s fragmented, especially for creators," he adds.
  • And while the fragmentation is also why the company isn't worried about individual apps adding similar features, it does compete with a multitude of alternatives like simple website makers and more direct rivals, like link-shortener Bitly's new "Link Launchpad," Koji, Beacons and others.

The intrigue: While Linktree currently makes money by charging for premium features, commerce is expected to be another promising revenue stream for the company, according to Rose, whose firm first invested in a prior round.

  • Last year, Linktree announced an integration with Shopify, and offers other payments features as well.

Linktree also has platform aspirations, and plans to more broadly allow third-party developers to build on top its product, Axios has learned.

  • Currently, only partners on deeper integrations, like direct music and video players, have access to Linktree's software development tools.

Go deeper: New social media trend: Old-fashioned links

Editor’s note: The story has been corrected to note that Dan Rose is chairman of Coatue Ventures (not Coatue Management).

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