April 29, 2013, 12:54 PM

Online designer fashion reseller The Real Real raises $14 million

RealReal plans to use the funds to expand its web infrastructure to spur growth.

Lead Photo

Julie Wainwright

Real Real Inc., a web retailer that sells pre-owned luxury goods like Gucci handbags and Alaia dresses and sandals priced at several hundred dollars or more, has raised $14 million in Series B funding that it will use to expand its web infrastructure and continue its growth, the retailer says.

“We’re changing the way people view their designer wardrobe and luxury items,” says Julie Wainwright, the retailer’s founder and CEO.

Real Real also hired a former StubHub Inc. executive, Matthew Gustke, as its chief financial officer last week. At StubHub, an online ticket retailing unit owned by eBay Inc., Gustke’s work included international finance and investor relations, the retailer says.

Real Real offers pre-owned items for sale on consignment at TheRealReal.com. It shares up to 70% of the resale price with consignors.

The company, which launched online in the summer of 2011, doesn’t release sales figures but claims to have more than 750,000 registered members and receives more than 1.5 million web site visits per month. It didn’t immediately reply to a request for information about its prior funding round.

TheRealReal.com had 202,705 unique visitors in March 2013, up 173% from March 2012, according to the most recent data from web measurement firm Compete Inc. Between March 2012 and March 2013, the retailer hit a high traffic point of 334,534 unique visitors in January, according to Compete. Figures on unique visitors count each visitor only once per month, regardless of how many times a visitor came to a site.

The Series B funding round was led by InterWest Partners, with participation from Series A investors Canaan Partners, e.ventures and Greycroft Partners. Real Real says it has also received additional “strategic investments,” which it declines to specify, from Novel TMT Ventures, Panerea Capital and individual investors Sukhinder Singh and Suzy Welch. Welch, who co-authored the book “Winning” with husband and former General Electric CEO Jack Welch, says The RealReal “has the power to change the way many women think about and acquire fashion and, in essence, change the whole lifecycle of luxury goods.”

Keval Desai, a partner at InterWest, adds: “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.”

 

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