Scoring that high-end, brand-name outfit — but you know, the kind you find from a secondhand store — can be a thrill. Much of that has traditionally been driven by individuals looking to cash in, but companies like Archive are helping brands themselves grab some of that revenue stream through their own resale programs.
We first spoke to the resale operating system startup’s co-founders Emily Gittins and Ryan Rowe in January when they announced $8 million in new funding to not only help brands resell their wares, but divert clothing from landfills.
When Archive launched in February 2021, it was deploying peer-to-peer resale models for brands, essentially facilitating a marketplace for buyers and sellers. However, Rowe told TechCrunch that as he and Gittins spoke more with bigger and bigger brands, they realized there was more that could be done.
Following the initial funding round, the company started building out a warehouse management system that enables what he called “managed resale.” Now brands can, at scale, sell inventory that has been either returned, damaged or exchanged online. Brands, or their third-party logistics partners, can process the inventory, identify if anything needs repair and get it up for sale.
The model has taken off: Archive has seen its revenue increase by nearly 10x in the last 12 months, is working with 32 brand partners and expects to divert hundreds of thousands of items from landfills in the next year. Some of those partners include The North Face, Oscar de la Renta, Cuyana and Marimekko.
This also comes as the luxury resale market is forecasted to double in size to nearly $200 billion over the next three years.
“The market for resale continues to accelerate very quickly,” Gittins told TechCrunch. “We’ve seen very large brands getting very serious about resale and making big commitments on how much of their business they want to be circular in the next few years. We’ve had a lot of positive reception to the resale programs and our existing brand partners continue to scale programs with us.”
Today, the company bags another $15 million, this time in Series A capital. The new investment gives Archive more than $24 million in total funding.
Lightspeed Venture Partners led the round and was joined by Bain Capital Ventures and a group of minority investors. As part of the investment, Alex Taussig, a partner at Lightspeed, will join the company’s board.
Gittins and Rowe intend to deploy the new capital into product development and building out the implementation and success teams to meet demand from customers. They are also looking at new verticals, including home goods and furniture, and with that, new partnerships with different types of logistics providers.
Ultimately, the company would like to move the retail industry toward the manufacture of fewer, but better quality clothing so there is a longer lifecycle for one piece of clothing through resale.
“We see a world where customers can resell something, through a brand, through multiple different ways,” Gittins said. “We are expanding our product internationally and working with brands, particularly in Europe, and will see a lot of expansion opportunities there in the near term. We will also be expanding our partnership network to do things like cleaning, repair and managing the warehouses.”