Poshmark, a fashion marketplace startup, raises $25M and releases Apple Watch app

Online fashion marketplace Poshmark has raised $25 million, more than doubling the startup’s venture backing and underscoring the rising popularity of Internet sites for users to sell their personal and household items.

Founder and CEO Manish Chandra said in an interview that Poshmark will use the new funding to expand the company’s offerings to include children’s and men’s fashions. Currently, only ladies’ items are sold on the site, and nearly all of the buyers and sellers are women. Chandra also plans to take the Menlo Park-based startup international, starting with Europe and Asia, within the year.

The Series C financing round, led by Mayfield, Menlo Ventures, Inventus Capital, Union Grove Venture Partners and others, brings the company’s total financing to $47.2 million. The company is also backed by celebrity investors Rachel Zoe and Ashton Kutcher.

Launched more than three years ago, Poshmark began as a mobile app where women could sell gently used clothing directly from their closet. Poshmark has a deal with the U.S. Postal Service to ship clothing between buyers and sellers.

Since then, Chandra said, Poshmark has grown from a site to recycle used clothing into a full-fledged fashion marketplace, where women have started digital boutiques, selling their own fashions, hand-designed clothes and even new styles from popular and luxury brands. Some of Poshmark’s 700,000 sellers on the site earn a living through Poshmark.

“These women have been scaling their businesses,” Chandra said. One woman “started selling from her closet and now has become a full-blown fashion designer.”

The company, which started as a mobile app, also announced an app for the Apple Watch. Through the Watch app, Poshmark users can track sale prices and orders and make purchases, Chandra said.

“Our belief is that the Apple Watch has the potential to be disruptive to everything,” Chandra said. “As a company, we built our platform as a mobile app first, and that was in 2011, before anyone believed mobile could drive commerce.”

More than 10 million items and 5,000 fashion brands can be found on Poshmark. About 20 percent of the items are seasonal retail merchandise — the newest fashions found at the mall — and Chandra expects the site will be closer to 40 percent new, seasonal fashions within the coming months.

Chandra said Poshmark is on track to make $200 million in revenue this year, doubling its sales-growth rate from December. One of the main growth drivers for Poshmark is that most of the buyers on the site are also sellers, so the supply and demand is balanced. Sites like Uber and Airbnb have a much smaller number of cars and homes than they do riders and guests.

“They are disrupting the $350 billion market of how women buy and sell fashion, similar to how Lyft is disrupting transportation,” said Navin Chaddha, managing director of Mayfield.

Image: Poshmark Apple Watch app, courtesy Poshmark


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