The Real Real Closes on $115M Funding Round
By Sharon Edelson on July 25, 2018
Authenticated luxury consignment retailer The Real Real said Tuesday that it has closed on a $115 million Series G round of financing, bringing the total raised in private equity capital to $288 million.
The latest round was led by PWP Growth Equity, Perella Weinberg Partners’ middle market private equity group, with additional participation from new investor Sandbridge Capital and existing investor Great Hill Partners. As part of the investment, Chip Baird, cofounder and partner of PWP Growth Equity, will join The Real Real’s board of directors.
“The new round of funding will allow us to expand our brick-and-mortar footprint into new markets, as well as support our growing supply of luxury goods with new e-commerce fulfillment centers,” said Julie Wainwright, chief executive officer and founder of The Real Real. “Over the last seven years, we’ve [redefined] the experience of buying and selling luxury goods, and become a leader in the circular economy for luxury goods.”
Wainwright declined to say whether a potential initial public offering that she previously characterized as still “a few years away” would happen sooner. But she said the business is growing more rapidly than expected at this point in its life cycle.
Gucci, Chanel, Hermès, Prada, Saint Laurent, Tom Ford, Valentino and Cartier are among the brands sold by The Real Real. The company operates jewelry and watch valuation centers staffed by gemologists and watch specialists in several cities, including New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, San Francisco, Dallas and Washington, and more locations are planned.
The Real Real on Thursday is opening its first Los Angeles store on Melrose Avenue.
The first Manhattan store opened this year offering all of therealreal.com categories, plus furniture and fixtures are for sale. There’s a café and a luxury consignment office in the store with gemologists and watch experts on site. The fine jewelry and watch category has become a big part of The Real Real’s business.
The CEO envisions more than one store in Manhattan. “We’ll have stores downtown and uptown,” Wainwright said. “We’ll roll out a few at a time and then go into rapid rollout.
“We aren’t planning to expand into any new categories at the moment, but we’re offering new services such as on-site watch and handbag repair as well as tailoring, [which is new].”
Baird called The Real Real “an industry-leading company that’s redefining the consignment marketplace and how consumers acquire luxury goods. With a continued move toward e-commerce and the rise of secondhand goods purchases, The Real Real is uniquely positioned to benefit from these shifting trends.”
Ken Suslow, founding managing partner of Sandbridge Capital, added, “We are highly enthused to be partnering with Julie and her excellent team as they continue to innovate the way forward for the buying and selling of luxury goods with a compellingly modern business approach.”
“We are excited about the progress at The Real Real and are pleased to continue the productive partnership we’ve enjoyed with Julie and her talented team,” said Michael Kumin, managing partner at Great Hill Partners, which initially invested in the business in 2017.