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Clothing and home goods marketplace Vinted recently announced that it closed an all-equity round of EUR€250M (approx. US$303M), and as a result, the company’s value now stands at approx. US$4.5 billion, a significant jump from its end 2019 value of US$1 billion valuation.
The European startup’s round was led by purpose-driven global investment firm EQT Growth and was supported by previous Vinted backers like Accel, Burda Principal Investments, Insight Partners, Lightspeed Venture Partners, and Sprints Capital.
Founded in Vilnius, Lithuania, back in 2008, Vinted presently has operations across 13 markets including the U.K., U.S., France, Germany and the Netherlands and has established itself as one of the largest online secondhand C2C marketplaces in Europe. It will be using this funding to further double that figure and expand into existing markets like in the U.S.
With over 45 million users, the platform allows users to upload clothing or home good items they would like to sell and purchase those items uploaded by other users as well. Without any user fees, the platform has a ‘buyer protection’ rate in place which fluctuates between 3% and 8% of the cost of an item or a direct cut which again depends on the value of the item.
In a press release seen by Green Queen, CEO of Vinted Thomas Plantenga, who has helmed the company since 2016, said that the platform is contributing to a”seismic shift” in the second-hand fashion market by encouraging sustainable and socially-responsible shopping habits. “Our platform offers a great, easy-to-use product and helps people experience the benefits of second-hand trade. We want to replicate the success we’ve built in our existing European markets in new geographies and will continue investing to improve not only our product but also to ensure we continue having a positive impact. We are grateful to our existing and new investors, and believe today’s milestone is a vote of confidence in our commitment to the circular economy and our relentless effort to build a business that encourages more people to buy and sell second-hand.”
We are grateful to our existing and new investors, and believe today’s milestone is a vote of confidence in our commitment to the circular economy and our relentless effort to build a business that encourages more people to buy and sell second-handThomas Plantenga, CEO of Vinted
In addition, EQT Growth aims to expand its support to Vinted by helping the platform accelerate its growth, strengthen its presence in core markets as well as expand to new international markets by providing its in-house digital and tech expertise as well as its network of advisors.
EQT Growth partner and investment advisor Carolina Brochado will be joining Vinted’s board of directors. Brochado said, “Vinted is transforming the second-hand fashion market across Europe through their customer-centric approach and extraordinary execution. Vinted is the perfect example of EQT Growth’s strategy of backing fast-growing European tech champions that tap into several macro trends, such as the increasing consumer demand for sustainability and continued penetration of online channels within fashion. We’re immensely proud and excited to be supporting Thomas and the Vinted team and we cannot wait to work together to further unlock the market for circular fashion.”
When the pandemic hit in Europe, Vinted had to stop all its operations for the first two months with Plantenga saying “the last 18 months have been challenging”. The team had to rethink how to move forward by ensuring that safety is first and soon, things started getting better.
Vinted is the perfect example of EQT Growth’s strategy of backing fast-growing European tech champions that tap into several macro trends, such as the increasing consumer demand for sustainability and continued penetration of online channels within fashionCarolina Brochado, partner and Investment advisor at EQT Growth
In another interview with TechCrunch, Plantenga shared that Vinted is specifically for fashion and home goods and have refrained from adding other goods like cars or furniture and though it was a hard decision since there isn’t any significant retailer in the market that is catering to this category, but the team wanted to stick to its ethos.
“Yes, it could be a big opportunity, but we have purposely said no to that. We don’t feel it’s our job to solve that (the overproduction in fashion)problem. We want more to fix consumer trends. All those issues around the fashion industry and production, there are many of them. But we are focused on secondhand being your first choice. Yes, it could be a great way to grow GMV, but that’s not how we strategize,” concluded Plantenga.
Going ahead, Vinted plans to extend its offerings to users uploading and selling goods for a charity of their choice and to facilitate those that buy to donate to charity with Plantenga adding that the platform is testing this in its French operations.
Several brands are using their platform to contribute to charities, for instance, online resale fashion company Vestiaire Collective released a campaign to encourage consumers to buy secondhand clothing owing to the tremendous waste caused by the fast fashion industry with the brand hoping to contribute US$250,000 to circular fashion charity The OR Foundation.
Elsewhere, Hong Kong-based charity ImpactHK set up 1ofaKIND, a secondhand clothing store where shoppers can buy affordable pieces, and the proceeds will be used to provide employment opportunities to homeless individuals and through a community café, the store will provide free food and beverages for those in need.
Lead image courtesy of Caroline Jacquot.