Vestiaire Collective—the luxury resale site that bills itself as the largest global marketplace for pre-owned, high-end fashion—has gotten its hands on some serious capital.
The Paris-based e-commerce operation has received 40 million euros ($45.6 million USD) in funding from French investment bank Bpifrance and the company’s new CEO, Max Bittner.
According to a company statement, the funding will help the site implement new technological solutions while fueling international growth.
Key to Vestiaire’s mission is the promotion of sustainability and circularity through the re-use of luxury goods in particular. The site deals in clothing, accessories and jewelry for men and women, and Bittner is keen to champion brands who favor sustainable behaviors and green innovations.
He’s also eager to widen the site’s influence internationally. Currently, the vast majority (79 percent) of the company’s transactions are generated cross-border, but Vestiaire isn’t stopping there.
The latest round of funding will bolster expansion into the Asian market, where Vestiaire is already seeing tremendous momentum (and estimates 140 percent gross merchandise volume growth in Q2 2019). In the company’s latest release, it noted Taiwan, Thailand, Indonesia, India, Malaysia, UAE, Saudi Arabia, Israel, Brazil and Mexico as countries ripe for expanded efforts.
Bittner is also eager to grow the team’s international staff. Since his arrival as CEO in January, the e-commerce marketplace has recruited 120 new employees across six offices, many of whom are focused on tech and data.
“I am personally very excited to scale the business and continue to revolutionize the fashion industry together with the co-founders Fanny Moizant and Sophie Hersan and the rest of the team,” Bittner said in a statement. “We want to build an international tech and data first company, leveraging Vestiaire Collective’s incredible brand and fashion DNA.”
In April, a decision to drop prices and commission rates for sellers raised eyebrows, potentially signaling trouble for the e-tailer. At the time, Bittner explained that a 10 percent site-wide drop in prices and commissions would allow sellers to move product faster and still turn a profit. The move promoted expediency and item turnover, and Bittner said he believed it would bring more sellers to the platform. In a statement that accompanied that announcement, Vestiaire Collective cited data indicating that resale commands 8 percent of a luxury market valued at around $292 billion, though its market share is expected to double by 2022.