Digitally native luxury-handbag reseller Rebag announced a $25 million round of funding and says it will use the cash to open as many as 25 stores.
Rebag customers rent and sell luxury handbags through a transparent, instantaneous process that features upfront payment. Shoppers can refresh their closets as often as they like and have access to thousands of designer handbags, available online or at one of Rebag’s stores. And the company has introduced a service it calls Rebag Infinity, which enables customers to rent a Rebag item for as long as six months and then to exchange it for credit equal to at least 70 percent of the original purchase price.
“This model is not just transformative to the industry, but [also to] the environment and [to] consumer buying behavior overall,” said Birgir Ragnarsson, a partner at Novator, one of the investment firms backing Rebag. “The luxury resale market holds incredible growth potential. Consumers see high-end bags as investments, and Rebag both provides an entry point to the luxury ecosystem and sustains it. Ultimately, resale will become a pillar of the overall luxury ecosystem, as brands and retailers start to recognize the synergies. Rebag can offer fruitful partnerships to key players and become the underlying platform to power the industry.”
Rebag’s data-driven approach has led the company to open five stores, in areas with high online-adoption rates, including Los Angeles and New York City. The brand says it intends to expand the portfolio to about 30 stores over the midterm. Those are to include stand-alone stores and stores at luxury malls.
Moreover, Rebag will continue to invest in scaling its technology. “We are a technology company first,” said founder and CEO Charles Gorra. “Our goal is to become the standard for the luxury resale industry, just like Kelley Blue Book is the main resource for the auto industry. We will make very ambitious releases shortly to provide tools that simplify and standardize the resale process."
Rebag will also be using this latest financing to help attract new talent and to bolster its current leadership team. Among its recent hires are Chief Technology Officer Jay Winters, formerly of Delivery.com and Goldman Sachs; and Chief Merchandising Officer Elizabeth Layne, formerly of Bonobos and Appear Here.
By Brannon Boswell