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The RealReal Raises $300 Million in IPO

The luxury reseller made its stock market debut selling 15 million shares for $20, with the company valued at around $1.6 billion.
Stella McCartney available at The RealReal | Source: Courtesy
By
  • Bloomberg

SAN FRANCISCO, United States — Online luxury reseller The RealReal Inc. raised $300 million in its US initial public offering, pricing its shares above a targeted range.

The RealReal sold 15 million shares for $20 each after marketing them for $17 to $19, according to a statement. The IPO values the company at about $1.6 billion based on the outstanding shares — excluding some restricted shares and options — listed in its filings.

The RealReal, founded by Chief Executive Julie Wainwright, makes it easier sell and buy used luxury items such as clothing, accessories and jewellery on consignment by providing platform for transactions and verifying that the goods are authentic.

Internet-based apparel resellers like The RealReal, Thredup Inc. and Poshmark Inc. have emerged as trendy alternatives to the second-hand clothing market. The RealReal focuses on luxury apparel items from designers like Hermes and Louis Vuitton, catering to the high-end fashion market, while Thredup and Poshmark feature lower-priced items.

Used clothing, footwear and accessories represent a $10 billion market in the US, according to data from market research firm IBISWorld Pty Ltd. Interest from young, sustainability conscious shoppers has been a boon for the industry, which the firm forecasts will grow around 1.6 percent a year through 2024.

All this has made old clothing a magnet for investment. Venture capital has poured in, with more than $1.1 billion dropped into used-clothing operations over the past several years, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

That included more than $350 million in funding for The RealReal and about $130 million for ThredUp. French startup Vestiaire Collective raised $45 million in June to fuel international growth, bringing its total funds to almost $200 million.

The San Francisco-based company now has two brick-and-mortar stores in Manhattan and one in Los Angeles that collect as well as sell goods.

While the market is intrigued by its growth, RealReal has yet to make a profit. The company posted a loss of $23 million on revenue of $69 million in the first quarter, compared with a net loss of $14 million on revenue of about $46 million for the same period last year. For all of 2018, it lost $76 million on revenue of $207 million, according to its filings with the US Securities and Exchange Commission.

By Michael Hytha, Olivia Rockeman and Kim Bhasin; editors Liana Baker, Anne Riley Moffat and Jonathan Roeder.

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