Wish is an e-commerce rising star, but internal discord paints a gloomy picture

1 week ago by Gabriela Barkho in News, Trends

The resale marketplace has been fertile e-commerce territory since eBay charted the way in the 90s. Dozens of e-commerce startups have come and gone - remember pets.com? boo.com? Webvan? How about CDNow?

And yet consumers continue to look for a more personalized e-commerce experience beyond the Amazon and eBay model.

Enter growth-sensation Wish: an online e-commerce platform that has become one of the most popular ways to buy and sell goods. Just this year alone, the site’s Facebook followers have tripled since January. According to the company’s site, Wish has “over 300 million users across the world” and is the sixth largest online shopping site in the world, but is “shooting for #1.”

As of today, it's one of the most-popular apps used according to Facebook login data, beating out YouTube, Airbnb, and even addictive games like Candy Crush Soda Saga.

While sites like Poshmark and Tradesy continue to focus on brand name fashion resale, Wish’s strategy is aimed at curating affordable, shoppable products ranging from clothing to video games. This choice has paid off over the years, with Wish attracting investors and closing a round of funding year in and year out. This company is currently on its venture funding round, having raised $1.3 billion in total to date.

The startup even began garnering mainstream attention in the U.S. after striking a sponsor partnership with the Los Angeles Lakers, placing its logo on the NBA team’s jerseys.

Lakers stars sport their Wish-emblazoned jerseys

Surprisingly though, it appears that internal turmoil is plaguing Wish’s rise to star status, at least according to employees’ reviews on review site Glassdoor. Despite Wish’s growing traffic and major financial backing is keeping them afloat, the company’s struggles are apparent.

As Thinknum trend data shows, recent Glassdoor review activity at the Wish signals potential crisis.

For example, Co-Founder and CEO Peter Szulczewski cemented his status as a darling of the Silicon Valley media scene, but his popularity shows to be dropping among employees, according to Glassdoor reviews.

Further Glassdoor reviews of Wish imply fractures in the company’s culture, citing firings and layoffs of employees for logistics reasons, such as paperwork and immigration status. This, along with a generally negative Glassdoor presence, shows Wish to be at a growth crossroads. Even the company’s former rapid hiring pace has recently slowed down, as data shows.

It’s difficult to tell what Wish’s future holds, but as indicated, without a major shift in company culture, its internal turmoil may end up putting a damper on its potential exit prospects.

Gabriela Barkho

Gabriela Barkho is a tech reporter based in New York City who covers startups, fin-tech and everything Silicon Valley.

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