The RealReal is going public. The San Francisco-based luxury consignment website – which was valued at $745 million in a funding round in July last year – filed documentation with the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) on Friday signaling plans for an initial public offering on the NASDAQ using the ticker, “REAL.”
Founded in 2011 by Julie Wainwright – the early dot-com entrepreneur, who previously held the CEO role for video retailer Reel.com and pet-supply company Pets.com – The RealReal set its sights on digitalizing the sale of pre-owned luxury goods. Since then, the popularity of The RealReal (and the pre-owned luxury market, as a whole) has skyrocketed. Thanks to its 11.4 million members (as of March 31) and its current statistic of more than 9.4 million items-sold, The RealReal is estimated to be generating more than $500 million in annual revenue, although it is not yet profitable.
The 8-year old company – whose e-commerce site and slowly growing network of brick-and-mortar stores are smattered with pre-owned Céline tops, Rolex watches, Hermès bags, Chanel jewelry, and Manolo Blahnik mules, some of which are brand new; most of which are lightly worn – closes an important loop in the fashion system. Wainwright notes that the company’s mission centers on helping to extend the life cycle of a huge number of products.
According to Reuters, The RealReal intends to use the as of now unspecified sum of money raised from the IPO “for general corporate purposes, including working capital and operating expenses.” As of Friday, The RealReal cited the traditional $100 million stand-in figure in its S-1 filing with the SEC in order to calculate registration fees. The final sum being sought will likely be different.