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Fashion marketplace Threadflip today announced a $13 million funding round to expand its online consignment shop.
Founded in 2012, Threadflip is a marketplace where women, for a fee, can list fashion items they’d like to sell, as well as purchase items from other sellers, like a fashion Craigslist. The company also offers a concierge service, launched a few months ago, that takes care of the entire selling process for its customers, and takes 40 percent of the sale, a bigger cut than the 20 percent it otherwise takes.
The concierge service really took off around March, co-founder Manik Singh told VentureBeat, prompting the company to raise new funding in order to grow the service.
“It is an operationally intensive model,” said Singh. The concierge service includes taking pictures of the items, getting them cleaned if necessary, listing them on the site, and handling interactions with the buyers. All the seller has to do is put their fashion items into the free “flipkit,” a large bag the company sends out, and send it back.
Currently, Threadflip is getting about 1,000 requests per day for its concierge service, and while that service made up only 10 percent of the company’s total business back in March, it now constitutes 35 percent of it. Singh declined to share exact user numbers.
Concierge-listed items also sell better: almost 78 percent of them are sold, in comparison to the 30 to 40 percent liquidity through the self-service offering, Singh told me. Singh attributes that not only to the professional photographs and styling from the team, but also to the higher trust from buyers. They know that Threadflip’s team has vetted these items and that they’ll arrive in a clean condition.
The ever-changing closet
Threadflip is far from being the first or only company to create a Craigslist-for-fashion. Poshmark, Vinted, and Twice, just to name a few, are providing such marketplaces.
But beyond this narrow concept, Threadflip is one of the many companies capitalizing on the fact that women constantly want to update their closets without spending a fortune in the process. RocksBox, for example, helps them do that by sending its customers personalized boxes of jewelry they wear for up to 60 days then mail back in order to get a new box. Style Lend lets women borrow dresses from each other, while Rent the Runway lets them rent out designer dresses and accessories for a few days instead of breaking the bank with full purchases.
Along with its website, Threadflip also has an iPhone and iPad app.
Norwest Venture Partners led the round, with additional participation from previous investors Baseline Ventures, First Round Capital, and Shasta Ventures.
Threadflip was founded in 2012 by Singh and Jeff Shiau and is based in San Francisco. Prior to this round, the company had raised $8.1 million in funding.
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