Hermes, handbag, luxury, resale

Handbags are still getting investment despite the turbulence of the pandemic. Today, Rebag announced $15 million in Series D funding, bringing total funding for the luxury handbag resale platform to $68 million.

Bain & Co.’s spring luxury study for 2020 released last week detailed a market set to contract by 25 to 30 percent in the first quarter. Meanwhile, an April analysis of the luxury sector from McKinsey noted a potential appetite for “revenge spending” with “handbags and small leather goods selling better than ready-to-wear apparel during the crisis.”

In any case, resale has faced the same challenges as retail — and then some.

While the latest investment round include existing investor General Catalyst, it was led by private equity firm Novator. Citing the “tremendous growth potential of the resale market,” Novator partner Birgir Ragnarsson said Rebag’s unique position combines “luxury expertise” with “cutting-edge innovation” and technology.

Funding will advance current technology investments and scale for Rebag’s Infinity Program that capitalizes on the popularity of rental. Back in October, Rebag launched “Clair,” or the Comprehensive Luxury Appraisal Index for Resale, democratizing pricing access for handbag buyers and sellers.

At launch, the Clair software tool offered up data and insight on more than 50 brands and 10,000 handbags, from five years of gathering intelligence.

Having launched in 2014, Rebag’s chief executive officer and founder Charles Gorra has eyed a moderately fast-footed retail expansion. With now nine stores, temporarily closed during the coronavirus pandemic, Rebag has leaned into its mobile app and web site.

Naturally, other resale start-ups are taking swiftly to digital experiences, with ThredUp launching its first series of weekly Instagram auctions this week. The proceeds from celeb closet auctions benefit Feeding America.

As for Gorra’s opinion of today’s status quo: “We believe the current environment is going to accelerate the transition toward resale,” further ushering in an era of “resale ubiquity.”

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