Julie Wainwright has long believed that her company, The RealReal, would receive its last financing but it ended up getting a new investment. Wainwright is busy pitching investors and gaining funding and has raised well over $170 million over the last several years since its launch. Wainswright is the founder of a fashion site that specializes in secondhand luxury fashion such as Gucci and Louis Vuitton.
The new fundraising was needed because the company may not be at the scale it needs to be at this time in order to be in demand with investors and also because the business simply needs more time to grow. The RealReal is onto something and is a way to fill a niche that has not been explored in-depth yet. This could be the very reason for its newfound financing opportunity.
The RealReal is a lot like your usual consignment store where sellers ship their items to the store and share the profit of anywhere from 50 to 60 percent. The company also authenticates the items to ensure that they are genuine and not a knock-off.
The RealReal began as a site primarily focused on providing luxury fashion for women but has expanded to also include items such as menswear, art, watches, jewelry, and even home décor. There are even plans for a retail store located in New York where customers can physically shop items.
The RealReal has been around for about six years and is based out of San Francisco. The RealReal has gained $50 million for growth funding from Great Hill Partners which is a private equity firm. It was a welcome turn of events, and the company has sights to become much more profitable and well-known. The company employs over 800 people and is working on brand awareness.
In the previous 18 months, the company has opened six valuation offices including in New York, L.A., Washington, D.C., and in San Francisco. About 80 percent of the market that shops the RealReal are women and men tend to purchase watches and leather items. For every four buyers, one will be a consigner.