Mobile Fashion Marketplace Poshmark Raises $25 Million More, Straps on … – Forbes
Last December, I wrote about Poshmark adding luxury authentication to their already-addictive mobile fashion marketplace. Investors must have liked that effort—plus the fact that the company is set to double its revenue in just six months this quarter with a $200 million run rate in annual sales. Today, the company announced it has raised $25 million in new funding.
I spoke to co-founder and VP of Merchandising Tracy Sun about how she and her team plan to spend the cash. They have no shortage of ideas: men’s and children’s is on the roadmap, and they’re also considering beauty, international expansion, and helping women launch their own retail brands using Poshmark.
“We started off as closets,” Sun said. “But [women] have run out of inventory and have started to get reseller permits. They don’t have to pay rent and are making over $100,000 selling in-season new merchandise. Now, 20 percent of sales is in-season new merchandise, and we want to get that number to 50 percent and beyond.”
The new investment comes from a few existing and a pair of new investors. Mayfield Fund, Menlo Ventures, Inventus Capital, and SoftTech VC re-upped, and Union Grove Venture Partners and Shea Ventures joined the round, for a total of $47.2 million in funding to date. The company, which is also backed by celebs Rachel Zoe and actor Ashton Kutcher, also announced today that it’s launching an Apple Apple Watch app.
Clothing resellers seem to pop up and go by the wayside on the regular, so what’s the secret to Poshmark’s success? First: being married to mobile. Sun says people thought they were crazy for launching a mobile-only app, because women wouldn’t shop on their phones. They now also have a website, but 95 percent of users favor mobile, and “mobile commerce is a given,” Sun says.
Hence the company’s enthusiasm for the Apple Watch, which was distributed to each of Poshmark’s 80 employees. “It was a huge decision,” Sun said, “but you need your team to live and breathe the vision and the innovation.” She added: “We’re huge believers in technology that enables peer to peer communications. The strength of Poshmark is its user-driven marketplace.”
Indeed, community has been perhaps even more important than the mobile strategy. For the three years since it launched, Poshmark employees have logged serious miles to host ”Posh Parties” across the country, and users love it.
“We’re heading to New York next week for one of our bigger Posh Parties and promoting the Apple Watch app,” she said. “We continue to throw these events, and we always look to our community to help us scale. There are only so many cities the staff can visit, but we have a whole network of community-hosted parties happening across the country.”