Paris-based luxury marketplace Vestiaire Collective (née Vestiaire de Copines) raised $20 million Series C funding from Condé Nast, Idinvest, and previous investors Balderton and Ventech — the magazine publisher invested more than $10 million. Vestiaire Collective allows anyone to buy and sell second-hand luxury items. Compared to mainstream marketplaces such as eBay, the company’s team of fashion experts certify that every product is in good condition — half of the products are rejected.
“The new funding will help us expand our activities on the European market, starting with Germany,” Vestiaire Collective U.S. director Adrien Wiesebron told me. “We will grow the New York team as well,” he continued.
As a reminder, the company opened an office in London and launched in the U.K. in March 2012. One year later, in March 2013, the French startup was open for business in the U.S. Until now, American clients could only buy clothes and accessories. But it’s about to change as they will soon be able to sell their stuff like European clients.
The difficult part is that Vestiaire Collective has chosen to screen everything before putting it on sale. Sellers need to physically send their items to the startup — then, the company handles shipping to buyers. It creates infrastructure and human resource challenges in every country.
Like competitor Videdressing, Vestiaire Collective is trying to build a community of fashionistas around second-hand items. It currently has 1.5 million users — up from 1 million back in May 2013. With a double-digit margin on every sale, Vestiaire Collective’s revenue prospects are good, especially if it starts accepting new items in the U.S.
Vestiaire Collective had previously raised $11.9 million (€9 million) over two rounds. But the most surprising aspect of its Series C round is that Condé Nast is leading the investment. While the company had previously invested six times in ecommerce startups, it is not your usual VC firm.
When asked about Condé Nast’s investment, Wiesebron told me that it was a “very good partner,” and that “a lot of very exciting stuff is coming up.”
President of Condé Nast’s digital activities James Bilefield will join the board and the media company hints at potential ads for Vestiaire Collective in its magazines (Vogue, GQ, Vanity Fair…). Contrarily to what many ecommerce startups do, Vestiaire Collective doesn’t plan to acquire smaller competitors in the short term — it’s all about growth for now.
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