Wall Street is getting real.
Shares of The RealReal Inc. shot up 49.8 percent to $29.90 after the reseller’s initial public offering Friday — illustrating plenty of investor interest at the intersection of the digital, luxury and resale worlds. The morning stock boost gave the company a market capitalization of $2.5 billion.
The offering was priced at $20 a share, which came in above the $17 to $19 projected and raised $300 million, which the company plans to use to grow its business.
Founder and chief executive officer Julie Wainwright, who didn’t sell any shares in the offering, controls 7.2 percent of the company through 6.1 million shares, now valued at $182 million.
Wainwright founded the business in 2011 and it has been growing rapidly. It processed 1.6 million orders last year and drove revenue up 55 percent to $207.4 million.
The company still hasn’t cracked the code on profitability — losses widened to $84.7 million last year from $54.9 million — but it has lived up to the tech-based moniker of disruptor.
The RealReal treats the closets of luxury shoppers as a supply chain. It takes in goods on consignment and authenticates, prices, displays and ultimately sells them, online or through one of its stores.
Chanel has sued The RealReal over trademark- and advertising-related claims, asserting that only the brand can authenticate its own goods.
Analysts also see the company pressuring “accessible luxury” brands by serving up what were out of reach luxury names for more reasonable prices.
Now the question is just what The RealReal and Wainwright will do with their new growing kitty and under the glare of Wall Street.