Rebagg, an online resell marketplace for designer handbags, has closed on $4 million in seed from General Catalyst, Metamorphic Ventures, Crosslink Capital, Founder Collective, Big Sur Ventures-Necotium and FJ Labs.
There’s no shortage of second-hand markets for handbags and other items. Great finds can be snatched up in local brick and mortar consignment shops or online sites like Threadflip, ThredUp, and even eBay, which recently purchased online consignment shop Twice. However, it’s a bit harder to snag a deal on the high-end stuff. TheRealReal, an online marketplace that sells designer bags as well as other luxury items such as shoes and clothing, will likely be Rebagg’s biggest competition in this area.
“There are a number of options for the consumer,” admits General Catalyst partner Adam Valkin. However, he doesn’t see that as a problem for the Rebagg team. “It’s a very simple process for first-time sellers. It’s very reliable, it’s very predictable and has this intense focus on handbags, which I think weighs itself in some genius as well,” he told TechCrunch.
The investment in Rebagg also had a lot to do with the team behind it, according to Valkin. General Catalyst only invests in six seed rounds a year, but Valkin said he saw something in co-founder and CEO Charles Gorra.
“He’s very charming,” said Valkin, who added that the startup team “weighs massively” in General Catalyst’s seed investments. “This was very much a bet on Charles.”
Gorra holds an MBA from Harvard and spent time working in M&A for Goldman Sachs. He also served as an entrepreneur-in-residence at Valkin’s firm. But he came up with the idea for a high-end handbag resell market while working for online luxury dress rental startup Rent the Runway.
“I don’t have a background in fashion or handbags, but I saw this tremendous opportunity to not just rent out these items but sell them on a secondary market,” Gorra told TechCrunch.
Gorra believes the challenge for his startup is not a crowded industry, but in finding the best products. “Most owners do not have the time to deal with the complexities and uncertainties of the reselling process,” he said. Gorra created a “frictionless and guaranteed service” to handle that. “You stay at home and get paid fair prices quickly while the Rebagg team does all the work.”
Rebagg crowdsources the designer bag inventory from third-parties like stylists, personal shoppers, and retail sales associates. It currently has over 1,200 sourcing partners across the U.S., according to the startup.
Rebagg will pick up items from third-party sources for free in New York and Los Angelos. It also offers free shipping from anywhere in the U.S. The Rebagg team then inspects the bags to make sure they are not a knock-off and also that they are up to resell standards. If all goes well, Rebagg sends the reseller a firm offer to purchase. Should the reseller chose to accept, Rebagg pays resellers for the item in 2-3 business days and handles the storage and reselling on its site.
Rebagg will use the seed money to further the expansion of its third-party resell network across the U.S. as well as to grow the team of developers and inspectors.