“The online second-hand luxury fashion site, The RealReal, keeps subverting market expectations over the years. It keeps securing round after round of private funding after their CEO Julie Wainwright proclaims that the company would launch its IPO afterward.
Wainwright, known for her role as CEO of Pets.com during the dot-com bubble, is the founder and CEO of The RealReal. She is currently attempting to secure her eCommerce company $100 million in private financing. The company already received over $170 million in private investments since its launch seven years ago and is on its way to having $500 million in annual revenue. An unquestionable success.
The RealReal specializes in reselling second-hand luxury fashion, but unlike alternative sites like eBay, it follows a consignment model. Sellers ship their used goods to the company which in turn lists them for sale on its website. This allows them to carefully inspect items for authenticity assurance, hence their name.
While it’s uncertain if the efforts to raise private investment are an effort to boost the company’s value to better appeal to investors at the launch of its highly anticipated IPO, or a result of realization that the second-hand luxury fashion market is much larger than initially assume, it’s most likely a bit of both. The company started primarily as a store for women’s luxury fashion, but soon expanded into menswear, jewelry, décor, and watches. It even saw the opening of a physical location in New York City last year, which was an addition to a series of valuation offices the company opened around the country for immediate appraisal of jewelry and watches.
The company also seems to be enjoying good relations with the brands it features on their website and store, such as Kering, the company that owns brands like Gucci and Yves Saint Laurent. An executive from the company even said the two actively collaborate. This is because the circulation of their products, even post initial sale, has enabled those selling their second-hand products to go on and increase sales for the company.
With its affinity for seizing new business opportunities and its drive to expand both into new markets and business models, it’s very intriguing to consider the companies plans if it receives the funding it’s seeking.”
Find out more about Susan McGalla: https://www.forbes.com/sites/pamdanziger/2018/02/27/vintage-luxury-etailer-the-realreal-pops-up-in-las-vegas/#7b09691016a0