Image: Vestiaire

Secondary market sales of fashion and luxury goods are booming, with the global market for secondhand luxury goods growing by 28 percent in 2022 to reach $45.21 billion, according to Bain & Company, which is 1.3 times higher than the growth rate for new luxury goods. “The secondhand market is already worth 3 percent to 5 percent of the overall apparel, footwear, and accessories sector,” according to Boston Consulting Group, which says that the segment “could grow to as much as 40 percent, depending on macroeconomic conditions.” Such growth is likely to be helped by changing consumer preferences and the macroeconomic climate, with consumers increasingly tapping into the online consignment segment to save money and to shop more “sustainably.”

All the while, new market entrants have rushed to meet burgeoning demand (bringing “an increased supply of goods” with them, per Bain) and existing players are looking to differentiate themselves and their value propositions. Against this background, funding keeps pouring into the secondary market – whether it be funneled into new resale platforms or already-established ones that are looking to expand their operations, including in an international capacity – and all the while, given the increasingly crowded nature of the market, consolidation is starting to come into effect, with existing entities joining forces to grab a bigger share of the market. 

With so much activity underway on the resale and rental space, we have compiled a tracker of funding and M&A events to provide a broad overview of which players are fundraising, merging, and what the trajectory of this segment of the market – which only appears to be gaining in steam – looks like more generally.

May 24, 2023 – Laced Raises in $12M in Series A

Laced has raised $12 million in a Series A round led by Talis Capital, with participation from H&M Group Ventures, the investment arm of H&M Group, BY Venture Partners, Truesight Ventures, as well as a number of angel investors, including Bart Swanson (current board member at Impossible Foods, and previously at Zoom) and Eric Archambeau (Co-Founder of Astanor Ventures). This brings the funding for the London-based sneaker resale marketplace, which was founded in 2018 by CEO Chris Gibbons, to $13 million following a $1 million pre-seed round in 2020. The company will use the new funds to “further expand and develop its technology and product offering.”

“Footwear accounts for 20 percent of the value of all counterfeit goods, and the counterfeit sneaker market is estimated to be worth five times the legitimate market,” Laced chief of staff Gareth Olyott told TechCrunch. “This shows that the proliferation of counterfeit items in this sector is a huge problem for collectors and enthusiasts alike. Laced removes the risk of buying an item from an unregulated marketplace, and for it to arrive and be inauthentic.”

May 9, 2023 – ThredUp Announces LTSE Dual Listing for Class A Stock

ThredUP has dual listed its Class A common stock on the Long-Term Stock Exchange (“LTSE”), a subsidiary of LTSE Group, making the secondary market platform the first consumer company to list on the exchange. “With this listing, thredUP threw down the gauntlet for all consumer companies,” said Eric Ries, founder and chairman of LTSE. “It is not enough to make pledges to your stakeholders; it is time for binding commitments the public can believe.” In a statement, thredUP and LTSE said that they are “pioneering the next generation of capitalism where traditional measures of financial performance and generating long-term sustainable value are integrated, [with] the dual listing demonstrates how thredUP is reframing capitalism through an impact lens, which is a key tenet of thredUP’s business strategy and core to thredUP’s mission to inspire a new generation of consumers to think secondhand first.”

ThredUp first listed on the NASDAQ in March 2021, raising $168 million at a $1.3 billion valuation after pricing its shares at $14 each.

Mar. 14, 2023 – Responsible Acquires Haru in Circularity Push

Resale platform Responsible has acquired fellow Belfast-based reseller Haru in a deal that Responsible says will enable it to “continue to push the boundaries of circularity in the fashion industry.” Specifically, Responsible – which was founded in 2021 and raised a $6.6 million seed round in Jan. 2022 – says the acquisition will enable it to “strengthen its brand and customer-facing apps with Haruʼs advanced operational, digitization, and pricing algorithms.” Mark Dowds, CEO of Responsible, said in connection with the deal, “By combining our respective technologies and expertise, we further increase the efficiencies and profitability required to grow the adoption of circular business models by brands and drive consumer behavior change at scale.” The terms have not been disclosed.

Mar. 8, 2023 – Saclàb Raises €1.6M in Seed Round

Saclàb has raised €1.6 million ($1.69 million) in a seed round led by Estonia’s Trind Ventures and Germany’s G-Fund. The Munich-based reseller – which focuses on hard-to-get luxury handbags – says it will use the funding to scale its resale tech infrastructure and increase marketing activities ahead of a U.S. launch.  “We are planning our soft launch in the US this year and creating an online storefront. Besides that, we have many UX/UI improvements coming up to make the selling and buying experience even more smooth and fun,” Saclàb co-founder Alexandra Stück said. 

Feb. 16, 2023 – Swag Kicks Raises $1.2M Seed Round

Swag Kicks has raised $1.2 million in a seed round led by i2i Ventures, with participation from Techstars Toronto, CrossFund Hong Kong, Rose Lake Ventures, Elevation Ventures, and STAK group. The Pakistan-based sneaker and fashion resale platform – which says that it has listed over 25,000 items on its platform, including shoes, apparel, and bags, and has served over 100,000 customers to date – will use the new funding to “build up inventories and stocks, expand market outreach and introduce innovative technology to manage growing demand.”  It is also planning to expand abroad, tapping into the global direct-to-consumer and B2B thrift and vintage circular fashion business.

Jan. 23, 2023 – Cudoni Raises $9.3M in New Funding

Cudoni has raised 7.5 million pounds ($9.3 million) from eBay’s venture arm and existing investors, such as Daily Mail Group Venture, in its latest round. The London-based resale platform “provides a luxury resale service in which it picks up items from sellers’ homes, evaluates and lists the items and sells them on commission,” per PYMNTS, with the firm handling “apparel, jewelry, watches and other items from 4,000 designer brands.” This round follows from a 4.6 million pound 2020 Series A for Cudoni in 2020, which was led by Daily Mail Group, with participation from retail advisor Andrew Jennings, as well as Hunt Investment Group and Concurrence Capital. The cash from its previous round was slated to be used to fund international growth for the now-6-year-old reseller.

This is a short (and incomplete) excerpt from a data set that is published exclusively for TFL Enterprise subscribers. For access to our up-to-date resale investment and M&A tracker, inquire today about how to sign up for an Enterprise subscription.