“For many years, RealReal’s Chief Executive Officer Julie Wainwright proclaimed her companies next private financing round would be the last before its eventual public offering — only then would they go ahead to secure new investments. Perhaps the 3rd time is going to be the proverbial charm.
Wainwright, who founded the luxury consignment site which specializes with the sales of secondhand clothes from luxury brands such as Louis Vuitton and Gucci, is now pitching investors to raise a new $100 million of fresh funding, according to different sources. The RealReal already raised over $170 million in funding since the inital launch seven years prior to now.
There is a number of ways you can view the reasoning for these fundraising endeavors. On one hand, the possibility is that they have yet to reach the scale which would be appealing to public-sector acquirers and investors — or maybe they need more capital and time to prove the long-term viability of the business.
Another possibility, it may be that the company and their investors realize the market for second-hand luxury goods turned out to be way larger than initially perceived, and the company feels confident the website is able to take a greater share of the market by investing in growth.
What began as a website focused around women’s fashion, branched out into jewelry, art, menswear, home decor, and even watches. They have a location in New York and possibly more locations in the future. The company is among the handful of online businesses backed by venture investment in the resale fashion industry which still stands and is trying to expanding the current market.
For many years, luxury brands viewed companies such as The RealReal as their arch enemies. That is not the case anymore, partly because the company drives substantial sales. Julie attributes the success to honing in towards the current luxury market, while maintaining a focus on trust over everything else, and ensuring every item The RealReal sells is authenticated and inspected before shipping out to the customers. Julie also stated they are weighing the strategy of debuting a range of brick & mortar locations, beginning with the New York City location now in the making.”