It seems that French VCs love e-commerce and after the acquisition of PriceMinister for roughly €200 million last week, it’s probably more understandable than ever. So French VC Ventech didn’t waste any time and just announced a €1.5 million investment in VestiaireDeCopines, a chic online sales depot.
Launched officially in October 2009, the site is essentially a marketplace for fashion clothing and accessory exchange – although not exclusively luxury brands. For example, anyone with a bag in good condition can sell it on VestiaireDeCopines. But let’s be clear, this is not eBay and the team definitely goes out of its way to make sure that users don’t find themselves at an online garage sale with dilapidated products. In fact, roughly 50% of all products are refused for the site as a result of their poor condition.
However, for the other half of the products that do pass the test, the platform offers tools so that users can post pictures of their products and list a price. There is even a tool that calculates a suggested price based on multiple criteria, including the age of the product, the brand, etc. It’s even possible for a second-hand product to be worth more than its original price – if the item is rare, for example.
VestiaireDeCopines currently has over 140,000 registered users on the site and also works with some 1,200 sales depots as part of their B2B offer. These depots pay a monthly fee of €200 to list their products on the site. As the average purchase is at roughly €287 (up 120% from when the site first launched), the monthly subscription fee doesn’t really seem that high.
This first round of funding will go first and foremost towards securing the company’s business model and integrating social features into the platform. The company is also planning to launch in the UK in September. And for the m-shoppers out there, the iPhone application should be out within the next 2 weeks. For such a young start-up, that’s not too shabby!