Open for Vintage, a second-hand designer goods ecommerce platform, whose backers include Voxpro founders Dan and Linda Kiely, is in the process of raising €1 million in funding.
This is part of a planned €10 million series A funding round that is expected to be completed by the end of 2022, co-founder and chief executive Colin Saunders told The Irish Times.
Founded by Mr Saunders and James Loftus in 2016, Open for Vintage sells pre-owned luxury fashion items, including jewellery, handbags, clothes and watches from the likes of Louis Vuitton, Gucci, Hermes, Dior and Chanel.
The platform offers more than 30,000 products from 70 boutique partners in 11 countries. It offers a “customs inclusive” pricing model to help avoid uncertainty with total costs calculated at the point of purchase.
With its headquarters in London and a base in Dublin, Open for Vintage has previously secured about €1.5 million from angel investors and via a crowdfunding campaign run on CrowdCube.
The pre-owned luxury market is estimated to be worth about £27 billion (€32 billion), up 65 per cent compared with 2017 and with expectations it will hit £40 billion by 2025.
As many as half of Open for Vintage’s customer base are under the age of 35. Mr Saunders said that despite the pandemic, business was booming, aided in part by younger shoppers’ interest in sustainability.
“Covid may have led customers to buy less Gucci dresses because there was nowhere to go out but that didn’t stop them from still coveting and buying luxury handbags and so on,” he said.
“More than two-thirds of Gen Z customers want brands to be sustainable. They also want to own nice things, even if they own less of them. Top-quality vintage items such as the ones we sell on our platform hold their value, which is why they are of appeal,” he added.
The platform receives about 40,000 visitors a month, with the company planning to grow this by using the additional funding on marketing initiatives. It also intends to hire additional staff.