“The RealReal was launched several years ago by Julie Wainwright and since then, it has taken off as one of the trendiest new consignment designer ventures in the fashion industry. The company and Julie Wainwright were recently featured in RECODE where she discussed the fact that the company is currently looking to raise an additional $100 million in additional funding around another funding series. According to Julie Wainwright, the reason for looking to raise additional funds is because she and her team have realized quickly that the market for extremely high-end designer consignment is much bigger than was initially thought.
The RealReal is based in San Francisco and was founded just six years ago and since then has seen massive success, both in name recognition and in the volume of purchases that have already been made from such a young company. The RealReal has taken off through several series of funding, including a recent $50 million in funding that came directly from the private equity firm Great Hill Partners. This brings The RealReal’s total funding to over $170 million.
While awareness of The RealReal is huge, the company says that its biggest hurdle is to showcase just how rare the quality of the products the company is offering is. For example, even at one of the company’s popup shops, there may be up to 100 Birkin bags hanging on the wall, something that has never been heard of before. The company has grown rapidly and the biggest hurdle it faces may be trying to manage the demanding growth. The company has already opened six valuation offices in just over a year, including Chicago, New York City and Los Angeles. At these valuation offices people can deal directly with a personal valuation expert to discuss the true value of pieces and jewelry. The RealReal now employs over 800 people.
While the company started online, the success of the boutique popup stores has encouraged the leadership team to consider physical locations as part of the company’s overall rollout strategy to engrain The RealReal in the fabric of how people shop for the highest-end designer goods.”