You are using an older browser version. Please use a supported version for the best MSN experience.

The RealReal grabs another $40 million to expand its luxury consignment business

TechCrunch TechCrunch 21/04/2016 Sarah Perez

Luxury consignment site The RealReal, which focuses on authenticated, high-end resale items for women, men, and the home, announced this morning it has raised an additional $40 million in Series E financing. The round, led by Greenspring Associates, comes on top of a $40 million investment from new and existing investors announced just one year ago.

Besides Greenspring, other new investors including Broadway Angels, Next Equity, and Springboard Fund are also participating in the Series E, alongside current investors Canaan Partners, e.ventures, Greycroft Partners, InterWest Partners, DBL Partners, and Industry Ventures.

To date, the business has raised $123 million in outside funding. At the time of last year’s raise, the company said it was poised to double its $100 million annual revenue in 2015. This time around, it’s expecting to double revenue again, it says.

The funding will be used to expand its business both in the U.S. and internationally, and will be put toward “strategic investments.” Or, in other words, the company is working to use the funds to propel it much further than competitors in this still crowded market.

The RealReal also reports that it has now grown to 4.5 million members who have sold over 2 million items on its site to date.

As commerce has shifted online, a number of sites have sprung up over the years to address the secondhand market outside of industry giant eBay. Specifically, a range of competitors have focused on clothing and accessories. Some follow the DIY selling model – like Poshmark, which also this month raised another $25 million of its own – meaning that sellers market, package and ship their items directly to buyers. Others, like thredUP, let you send in items which the site then photographs, posts and sells on your behalf.

The RealReal falls into this latter camp, while additionally inspecting items with the help of those trained in verifying and authenticating luxury goods, including gemologists, horologists, art appraisers, and those familiar with verifying retail items like handbags. That way, buyers know they’re not being duped by a good fake.

Sellers earn 60 to 70 percent of the sale price on items on The RealReal, and an in-home pickup service is available in over 20 cities across the U.S. to make the “closet cleanout” process easier.

Going forward into 2016, The RealReal will focus on opening new valuation offices in some larger markets. The company first opened these in New York and L.A., and then expanded to Chicago just last month. These offices let shoppers bring in their fine watches and jewelry for free, in-person appraisals – ironically, taking the company’s online business back offline.

According to The RealReal, those customers who consign with the site can make up to two times more than selling through other channels. (Jewelry shops are notorious for their low offers on secondhand items, due to the overhead involved with running brick-and-mortar retail operations and their need for high profit margins.)

The RealReal says that, now, fine watches and jewelry is its fastest-growing category as a result of its efforts.

“This new round of funding will take our business to the next level,” The RealReal CEO and Founder Julie Wainwright stated. “As we look ahead, we’re excited about growing the business globally while continuing to provide our customers and consignors with an inimitable business model that makes buying and selling pre-owned luxury goods online as easy, trustworthy, and lucrative as possible.”

More from TechCrunch

image beaconimage beaconimage beacon