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Poshmark Takes Secondhand Strategy to India

Poshmark is looking to tap into its biggest potential audience yet, prepping to open its fashion resale platform to the world’s second-most populous country by the end of the third quarter.

India would be the fourth market for Poshmark, which has 80 million registered users in the U.S., Canada and Australia, which it entered in February.

The secondhand fashion marketplace identified more than 622 million active internet users in India last year, citing data from the Internet and Marketing Association of India (IAMAI) and Kantar. The report identified that this number is expected to increase by 45 percent and touch 900 million by 2025, unlocking an even wider potential pool of consumer.

“Having roots deeply embedded in India, I am delighted to be bringing Poshmark to my home country,” Manish Chandra, Poshmark founding CEO, said in a statement. “India is an ideal fit for our unique social commerce model, both from a cultural and business perspective—India thrives in togetherness, and the country’s dynamic, youthful and inherently social culture aligns with the core value proposition of our company and community. At the same time, the market opportunity is massive and growing, as people increasingly turn to e-commerce while seeking a more socially connected and sustainable experience. We look forward to empowering Indians of all ages and backgrounds to join us in an entirely new way to shop.”

Marketplaces already dominate e-commerce in India, with Flipkart and Amazon taking up more than 62 percent of total online market share in the country, according to Forrester Research data.

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But Poshmark’s focus on resale should be able to help it fit right in. India’s e-commerce regulations prevent foreign online retailers from both holding inventories of goods and selling them directly to customers, but Poshmark doesn’t hold any of its own inventory and operates entirely as a peer-to-peer sales network. This would prevent it from attracting any governmental scrutiny upon the expansion.

Overall, the Indian e-commerce market is expected to take a big leap, reaching $111 billion by 2024, according to a March report by fintech firm FIS, representing a notable increase from $60 billion in 2020.

In its second-ever earnings report, Poshmark saw net revenue jump 42 percent year-over-year to $81 million. Across all markets, Poshmark continued to see gross merchandise value (GMV) growth, with the amount of goods traded on its platform boosting 43 percent to $441 million. Quarterly GMV has increased year-over-year for the past 12 quarters.

Although Poshmark still isn’t profitable, losing $20 million in the first quarter, Chandra is confident about its growth, earlier this year calling it the “biggest harbinger” of the rapid changes in consumer shopping trends since it collects data on the products the actual sellers offer on the platform and what shoppers are spending money on.

The CEO feels the marketplace’s curated Posh Parties, which enable shoppers to meet up in the Poshmark app to shop, share, and sell clothing and accessories, will further help the company accelerate in India as the trends become easier to access.

Poshmark also benefits from having support staff in India for eight years to support the U.S. and other markets. With these local teams in place, the company can cater specifically to the multiple geographies that extend across the country through regional channels. much like the marketplace has regionalized content in the U.S.

As part of the expansion, Poshmark appointed two new leaders. Sylvie De Wever joins as Poshmark’s first vice president and general manager of international, while Anuradha Balasubramanian will serve as general manager of Poshmark India.

Prior to joining Poshmark, De Wever was the chief operating officer of Berlin-based learning app Blinkist, but her commerce experience comes from her 16-year tenure at eBay. At the online marketplace, De Wever led eBay into emerging markets, and was the general manager of eBay Latin America.

Balasubramanian had been working with Poshmark since October as the marketplace sought to get the Indian expansion off the ground. In 2012, she co-founded and launched Syona Cosmetics, a natural line of skin and hair care products in India, and led the company until her departure in December 2019.

“We are thrilled to welcome Sylvie and Anuradha to our team and have them spearhead our move into India,” said Chandra. “This expansion is so important to me personally, and I could not be more pleased and honored to have these two on board. They will play a critical role in scaling Poshmark’s social shopping community and redefining the future of shopping around the world.”

International expansion remains one of Poshmark’s primary growth strategies, and the company will continue to invest in the adoption and localization of its marketplace to serve additional markets in the future.

While there has been no indication of what markets Poshmark will enter next, the company is likely to shed further light on the India move, as well as its potential go-forward strategies, in its upcoming second-quarter earnings call this month.