Material Wrld has raised $9 million in a Series B funding round.
Start Today Inc. led the round with a $7 million investment. The company’s existing investor and VC Nissay Capital together contributed $2 million to the raise. The aggregate raise so far is $13 million.
Material Wrld, a luxury fashion trade-in service, said it plans to use the proceeds to grow the company and investment in its Material Wrld Fashion Trade-In Card, a reloadable prepaid debit card running on the Discovery network. The card gives customers the option of accessing funds earned from trade-ins of designer fashions, as well as retailer specific gift cards that the customers have chosen as the currency for the value of the trade-in amount. The card also allows them to shop for new merchandise at any of Material Wrld’s trade-in networks. The network includes Saks Fifth Avenue, Bloomingdale’s and Intermix.
Founded in 2012 by Rie Yano and Jie Zheng, the premise for the company is to give women the ability to refresh their closets through the exchange of designer apparel, handbags and shoes. Material Wrld has its team of resale experts who determine the value of the items. More than 150 brands are accepted for trade-ins.
Start Today is one of the world’s largest fashion e-tailers with a $4 billion market cap that runs Zozo.jp in Japan, as well as multiple sites. They have an online platform comprising two components: One sells new fashions sourced from brands operating like a traditional retailer; the other sells secondhand fashion collected from its customer base. The company collects user-generated content from a mobile app called Wear. Users upload photos of themselves, and then tag them with product details that are linked directly to the Zozo website for purchase.
Although Start Today has been acquiring start-ups and making investments in Southeast Asia, the investment in Material Wrld is the first it’s made in the North American market.