Resale platform Vestiaire Collective secures Kering investment

Pre-owned clothing platform Vestiaire Collective has announced the completion of a new 178 million euro (216 million dollar) financing round backed by Gucci-owner Kering and US-based hedge fund Tiger Global Management.

Kering chairman François-Henri Pinault described the fast-growing resale market as a “real and deeply rooted trend” as his company snapped up a 5 percent stake in Vestiaire Collective.

“Rather than ignoring [the trend], our wish is to seize this opportunity to enhance the value we offer our customers and influence the future of our industry towards more innovative and more sustainable practices,” Pinault said in a statement. “This fits naturally with our entrepreneurial spirit, our pioneering sustainability strategy, and our modern vision of luxury.”

Tech investor Tiger Global - which has experience supporting high-growth disruptive companies to scale, such as Facebook and Spotify - said it will leverage its understanding of the US market to support Vestiaire Collective’s growth in the region.

Vestiaire Collective’s global expansion plans currently focus on the US and Asia Pacific markets. As of January 2021, local sellers in those regions had increased their items sold by more than 250 percent year-over-year.

Kering bets on second-hand fashion

This latest investment comes after a successful year for Vestiaire Collective, despite the challenging backdrop of the pandemic, with the platform’s transaction volume growing over 100 percent year-on-year.

Vestiaire Collective CEO Maximilian Bittner, who founded his company in 2008 during the financial crisis, said the platform’s performance in 2020 proved that its model could “continue to thrive during challenging conditions”.

“The resale sector as a whole is experiencing rapid growth, especially amongst Millennial and Gen Z consumers, which will come to shape the retail landscape of the future,” Bittner said. “We are incredibly excited to welcome Kering and Tiger Global Management, both of which will be instrumental in our mission to build a more sustainable fashion industry and further grow our incredible global community.”

The amount of secondhand pieces in people’s closets is predicted to grow from 21 percent in 2021 to 27 percent in 2023, according to Vestiaire Collective, with the value of the secondhand sector forecasted to be worth over 60 billion dollars by 2025.

Image: Vestiaire Collective CEO Max Bittner, courtesy of the brand.
 

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