Hong Kong-based platform Retykle has closed a seed round to expand its designer children’s clothing resale service to international markets as demand for sustainable fashion continues to grow. Backed by a group of angel investors, the company says that the funding will further solidify its position as the most established and largest player within the children’s resale fashion category in Asia.
Children’s designer fashion resale platform Retykle has just closed its latest round of seed funding led by a “consortium of high profile angel investors”, the firm announced today (February 19). The Hong Kong-based platform says the investment will enable growth within its domestic market, as well as fuel its international expansion plans for Australia and Singapore.
It will also enable the company to develop its technology, grow its team of engineers to build out personalisation and peer-to-peer marketplace services to make it “even easier” for brands to directly join the platform. Notable investors joining the round include Lazada co-founder Tim Rath and author and investor and Room To Read founder John Wood, who was is also a backer of social venture movement and plant-based leader Green Monday. The amount of funding was undisclosed.
The businesses best set up for long-term success are those that pursue purpose in addition to profit.John Wood
“I couldn’t be more excited for our future ahead, and I’m grateful to our incredible investors who share our vision for a circular future,” said Sarah Garner, who founded Retykle in 2016 and has since grown the online consignment business into a platform showcasing more than 2,000 leading children’s designer clothing brands with price tags shave 50-90% off original retail.
The idea for the preloved childrenswear platform first came about when the former Lane Crawford and Shanghai Tang fashion veteran became a parent and realised she had piles of unworn or almost new kids clothing to contend with, Garner explained in an early interview with Green Queen Media back in 2016.
Now, Garner describes her startup as “focused on the customer experience to cultivate a love for and habit around using the platform to buy and sell which leads to a sticky customer with frequent purchases and sustained customer lifetime value.”
Speaking about the decision to back the startup, Wood said: “The businesses best set up for long-term success are those that pursue purpose in addition to profit. Retykle’s model is great for the planet and for family finances so I’m proud to be an investor as well as a loyal customer.”
I couldn’t be more excited for our future ahead, and I’m grateful to our incredible investors who share our vision for a circular future.Sarah Garner, Founder, Retykle
Within the space of just a few years, Retykle has also landed a permanent storefront in Wong Chuk Hang in Hong Kong, and says that they have managed to recirculate more than 150,000 items and attracted tens of thousands of parents to become members.
Denise Ho, a long-time supporter of Retykle and creative director of sustainable fashion label The R Collective, believes that the platform is positioned for continued growth ahead, especially as consumers continue to buy into circular fashion in a bid to live more sustainably.
“I’m a true believer in the second-hand market and its potential. At the end of the day, it just makes sense to protect our resources and limit waste,” said Ho.
We’re endeavouring to resolve the inherent waste associated with temporary use by bringing the US$200 billion children’s market fully circular.Sarah Garner, Founder, Retykle
Garner agrees, telling Green Queen Media that Retykle’s latest funding round is “demonstrating the growing appetite for strategic investment in sustainable or circular business models and the tidal consumer shift towards supporting companies that will provide solutions to the urgent waste crisis.”
To date, the company has raised more than US$1.5 million in total funding, which she believes will take it one step further in “resolving the inherent waste associated with temporary use by bringing the US$200 billion children’s market fully circular.”
Other rental and circular fashion platforms have managed to attract strong investment as well, even in the midst of the pandemic, again indicative of the strong wave of conscious consumerism taking over the fashion industry that has propped up record sales in 2020 for the likes of thredUP, one of the biggest online resale players today.
In May 2020, preloved and rental handbag platform Rebag raised US$15 million, while French resale platform Vestiaire Collective closed a US$64 million funding round in the month before, ahead of its Asia-focused expansion.
All images courtesy of Retykle.