Vinted, a Lithuanian online marketplace startup for second-hand/used clothes, has gained the latest unicorn status in Europe tech scene. The online retailer has pocketed a massive €128 million in an equity funding round, valuing the company at over €1 billion.
The round was led by new investor Lightspeed Venture Partners, with participation from existing backers including Sprints Capital, Insight Venture Partners, Accel and Burda Principal Investments.
This latest round of funding will be used to invest in product development and to accelerate Vinted’s rapid growth across Europe. It will enable the company to:
- Double headcount in the product and technology teams
- Invest in technologies to continue to improve the value proposition for members
- Further strengthen trust, safety, and member-support services on the platform
- Continue to grow and connect its strong pan-European member base, which currently numbers 25 million
Vinted’s mission is to make second-hand fashion the first choice worldwide. It offers over 180 million second-hand fashion items and provides great chances to sell and buy quickly, safely, and easily across 11 European markets. In 2019 alone, €1.3 billion of gross merchandise volume is expected to be transacted on Vinted – going back into the pockets of its members.
Vinted has successfully scaled its business across Europe and is well-positioned to accelerate this growth. Since its last funding round in August 2018, the company has seen a material growth in brand awareness and revenue has increased fourfold over the past 17 months.
During the same period, Vinted has started to build an integrated international platform, created cross-market shipping routes, and scaled its product to the Netherlands, Belgium, and Spain. To support this growth and continue to improve member experience, Vinted plans to expand its European teams, which currently number over 300 employees.
This investment underlines the growing consumer appeal of second-hand fashion worldwide, with a market opportunity estimated at €13 billion across Europe.
Thomas Plantenga, CEO of Vinted, said:
We are approaching an inflection point in the market for second-hand fashion; consumers around the world are becoming increasingly conscious of their buying choices. We’re grateful to our new and existing backers who believe in our mission to make second-hand the first choice worldwide. Today’s investment is an endorsement of the future market opportunity and of our approach to maximise value generation for our members.
We want to enable people to sell faster and buy from a wider pool of products than any other platform in Europe – and at the lowest possible cost to our members. We hold firm to our belief that making them happy will power the growth of our member base, and we look forward to investing in advanced technology to make our proposition even more powerful for them. This funding will therefore directly benefit our members, driving improvements in product, technology, support, trust, and safety solutions.
Brad Twohig, Silicon Valley-based Partner at Lightspeed Venture Partners, said:
At Lightspeed, we look for outlier management teams building generational companies. We’ve been impressed by the team’s ability to build an incredible product and value proposition for their community, and adapt and expand their business along the way. Vinted is defining its market and has built a global brand in C2C commerce and communities. We’re proud to partner with Vinted and leverage our global platform and resources to help them continue to build on their success and achieve their goals.
Luciana Lixandru, Partner at Accel, said:
When we led Vinted’s Series A, we were intrigued by the company’s unique approach to creating a marketplace for buying and selling second-hand fashion and its remarkable early traction. Since taking the helm, Thomas has steered the business to impressive growth, as it redefines the used clothes market, and Vinted’s very active community of members continues to grow.
The story of Vinted: How it all began!
Vinted was founded in 2008 in Lithuania by Milda Mitkute and Justas Janauskas, confronting an increasingly common problem in modern Europe – wardrobe overload. Milda was moving house but had too many clothes to take with her. Justas offered help and built a website with Milda, to give away her clothes to friends. The platform quickly became a success and grew organically, at first, without any marketing investment.
In 2011, Mantas Mikuckas joined as the first investor and COO, and seized the opportunity to expand the business to international markets. Today, Vinted operates in 11 European markets, including France, Germany, Spain, and the Netherlands. Its diverse team, spanning 10 different nationalities, is head-quartered in Vilnius, with offices in Berlin, Prague, and Warsaw.
Main image credit: Vinted
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