Nextdoor, the hyper local news site based on user generated content, is to seek a stock market listing which may value the company at $4-5bn. The company will do this by merging with Khosla Ventures, a special purpose acquisition company (SPAC) in a deal which aims to raise $686m of new funds along with the backing of blue chip investors to drive its next phase of growth.
Nextdoor was founded in 2008 and launched its US service in 2011. The platform is free to use for neighbours to communicate local news, events and requests and is funded through advertising. The platform has an international reach and claims a usership of 1 in 3 US households, its home market. The pandemic has provided a clear boost for the platform as lockdowns have moved communities towards online connections and the site has been adept at giving covid updates and local vaccine information.
But the Financial Times has offered a cautionary note to the Nextdoor IPO:
“Nextdoor faces the problem of all social media platforms. They link people to vast networks, unleashing a flow of information, providing entertainment and encouraging companionship, but they can accentuate the harsh side of human nature. People gang up on others, especially strangers and those whom they dismiss, often on sketchy evidence, as being opponents or enemies. Since Facebook launched at Harvard university in 2004, a digital innovation that was intended to enable friendships has fomented warring tribes.”
Nextdoor investors include Axel Springer.