NEW YORK — The RealReal, the leader in the resale shopping space, is looking to enhance the mobile and personalization experience for users — and the company intends to use the $14 million it’s just secured in Series B funding to do so.
This story first appeared in the April 16, 2013 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
According to The RealReal chief executive officer Julie Wainwright, the almost two-year-old site has raised $22.5 million to date. Venture capital firm InterWest Partners led this round with $8 million, and additional capital came from Suzy Welch, Sukhinder Singh Cassidy, Novel TMT Ventures and Panarea Capital; the latter two are also investors in luxury e-commerce site Moda Operandi. The Series A investors that raised a total of $7.5 million — comprised of Canaan Partners, E.ventures and Greycroft Partners — participated in the Series B round on a pro rata basis, too.
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“We’re in the process of hiring more people in technology. We are really focusing on building our mobile and our Web site technology. We’re also going to add more people in the New York metro and Eastern Seaboard [areas] for merchandise managers. Those are the two biggest uses of capital,” Wainwright told WWD.
The company last month introduced its first mobile shopping app (a mobile consignment app has been in place since September 2012) and saw a relaunch at therealreal.com. But for the site, which has more 800,000 members and sees over 1.5 million unique visitors a month, creating a more personalized experience is one of the first things Wainwright wants to deliver to consumers. She predicted that the site will be able to make product suggestions based on intelligent recommendations that don’t require the user to fill out forms and users will have their own personalized sales in the near future. An enhanced mobile app will also send out relevant notifications.