Community fashion marketplace that sells second-hand clothes Poshmark Inc. has raised $25 million Series C in a round that included Mayfield, Menlo Ventures, Inventus Capital, Union Grove Venture Partners, Shea Ventures and SoftTech VC.
Poshmark, headquartered in Menlo Park, California has emerged as a major player in the secondhand communities. The company which also has names of celebrities like fashion designer Rachel Zoe and actor Ashton Kutcher among its backers, has raised a total of $47.2 million in venture funding until today. The startup has millions of registered users already and is expected to hit $200 million in annual revenue. What differentiates Poshmark from sites like eBay or other online shopping sites is that it allows buyers and sellers to directly communicate. It also offers a range of secure payment transfers and a specialized method to buy and sell high-end goods. Poshmark’s marketplace consists more than 10 million items for sale.
During the time when the company raised capital, it started offering new service called Posh Concierge, a free feature that allows company to authenticate the purchases of luxury goods. Until before, the items sold through the marketplace were done with the direct dealings between seller to buyer like ebay, but the new service allows items to be authorized by the Poshmark team before they are shipped. This new feature made it feel more secure for the buyer and could pull in that professional audience.
Founded in 2011, Poshmark claims that growth of the company lies in the vibrant community where “women help each other discover new items, leading to an order being placed every 5 seconds.” ‘Poshmark Stylists’ who are people listed on the service, are said to make a unique social merchandising engine where they organize the beast items and deals to their followers and help match the demand and supply. It is somewhat like a social network with followers and chat around the fashion listed.
“The future of shopping blurs the line between inspiration, personal relationships, and commerce. While traditional marketplaces have only buyers and sellers, Poshmark has pioneered an entirely new model that introduces a third role to empower and leverage our most valuable asset, our highly engaged community,” CEO and founder of Poshmark Manish Chandra said. “We’re introducing a concept that is completely new, where social and commerce are intrinsically connected, combining the power of the two to create an infinitely scalable marketplace. It is this unique social environment that is allowing women to build six-figure businesses on the marketplace,” he adds.
Poshmark has also expanded from its iOS app and Android app to Apple Watch app that will make the marketplace open to shop through mobile itself. With this addition, the startup can extend its ‘mobile-first’ approach that started when the site began as an app before it became a full website. The company has stated that around 90% of its clients shop through mobile and it hopes the Apple Watch app can also help it expand its commerce reach. Chandra said, “It is a smaller, fast factor platform.” If the Apple Watch become the next big thing, Chandra wants to stay ahead of the curve and be part of the wearable platform. After all, mobile shopping is already the company’s forte.