The RealReal is unique to this brick-and-mortar and online shopping niche with its track record of being able to “find the fake” in this space with its nearly overtrained staff to protect its reputation by protecting its name. Finding a used Louis Vuitton bag online is easy, but comfortably knowing that it’s not a good fake is something that is bred into the company’s success.
Following her stint as the CEO of Pets.com, Julie Wainwright seems to have found a way to revive her career with the founding of the RealReal. Many will cite Pets.com as the most memorable example of the “dot-com-bust”, Wainwright now represents the success of smaller-scope startups.
The authentication process at the RealReal is rigorous and the increase in revenue has led the company to the top of the luxury consignment market quickly as the business continues to expand.
With growth comes a need for willing investors and The RealReal has authorized the sale of $70 million in new shares, and if reached would see its valuation rise over the billion dollar mark for the first time. While there is no guarantee the shares, will be sold, many investors are viewing The RealReal as the newest unicorn in the niche.
Since the companies inception, it has raised nearly $300 million from various private equity and venture capital backers. Last year, the company closed Series G funding of $115 million seeing the company valued at around $750 million.
While headquartered in San Francisco, its expanded brick-and-mortar stores extend well beyond the “City by The Bay.” This newest round of funding should see The RealReal looking at 2020 for an initial public offering.
Competing Poshmark looks set to go public later this year as it reached $150 million in revenue in 2018. Other companies in the same arena include the female-founded Glossier which is now valued over a billion along with Rent the Runway among others.
The RealReal is hoping that its attention to detail and rigorous authentication process has a springboard to unicorn status.