It’s like they always say: you have to dress for success. Fake it till you make it. Dress to impress. Don’t pee in the wind. (I don’t think that last one applies, but whatevs.) The general idea is: dress up nice to get where you want to go in life. The more expensive the clothes, the better. But there’s a caveat: expensive clothes are expensive.
Unless you get your expensive clothes through resale, that is. The RealReal is a resale site for luxury fashion, and the company announced Tuesday that it has raised a $14 million Series B round led by InterWest Partners, with participation from existing investors Canaan Partners, e.ventures and Greycroft Partners. The company also received strategic investments from Novel TMT Ventures, Panarea Capital, Suzy Welch, and Sukhinder Singh Cassidy.
While there are a number of flash sale sites that sell high-end designer fashion for relatively low prices, The RealReal takes a different approach, selling pre-owned luxury fashion and accessories for men and women. And it’s not joking around when it comes to designers. The site sells Louis Vuitton, Chanel, Gucci, Prada, Hermes, and more, all of which the company purchases from previous owners and authenticates, so you know you’re getting the real deal.
“Think of The RealReal as a high-end eBay with White Glove Service,” said founder and CEO Julie Wainwright.
That White Glove Service includes pick-up from your door if you’re consigning, and consignors can get as much as 70% of the item’s sale price. And Wainwright says that nearly three-quarters of the site’s items sell within 72 hours. The site currently boasts some 800,000 members and receives over 1.5 million visits per month. The RealReal’s customers largely consist of men and women earnings more than $50,000 a year.
"Over the years, we have evaluated a number of e-commerce companies and there is no doubt The RealReal has created a marketplace with the most coveted product offering. This, along with their outstanding team, made it a very easy decision for us to invest in the company,” said InterWest’s Keval Desai, in a statement.
The company, which launched in June 2011, plans to use the new funds from this round to increase its technology investment in mobile and Web and to hire more in-field workers for its White Glove Service. Currently, the company has over 20 people in key cities “cleaning out closets all day long,” says Wainwright.