The startup funding environment is more challenging right now, but some companies and industries still draw investors’ attention and money. The luxury fashion resale market is one of them in Asia.
Kream, a reselling platform that buys, sells and trades luxury goods like handbags, clothing, accessories, said it has completed $168 million (220.6 billion won) in Series C funding at a valuation of approximately $742 million (970 billion won), up from $306 million (400 billion won) in October 2021 when it raised a $78 million (100 billion won) Series B round.
Altos Ventures, a returning backer, led Kream’s latest funding along with Naver, SoftBank Ventures Asia, Mirae Asset Capital and new investors Samsung Securities and Axiom Asia participating.
Kream was spun off from Snow, a camera app-focused branch of Naver, in January 2021 and secured its first funding, approximately $15.6 million (20 billion won), from investors, including SoftBank Ventures Korea and Altos Ventures, in March 2021. The outfit has raised a total of over $266 million in funding so far since its inception.
Kream has been making an array of minority stake investments in Asia-based peers, including Japan’s Soda, Thailand’s Sasom and Malaysia’s sneakers platform Shake Hands. More investment will be made, mainly in Asia, chief business officer (CBO) Mingook Kim told TechCrunch. Its long-term goal is strategically connecting Asia-based C2C reselling platforms, allowing consumers to resell and purchase via Kream and its C2C resale affiliates, Kim added.
With the Series C financing, Kream also plans to add luxury items and emerging brands to the platform and hire more staff. It currently employs around 100 people.
The two-year-old company claims it now has 5.3 million monthly active users, an approximately 2.5x increase from 2.2 million MAUs in October 2021. Its gross merchandise volume (GMV) jumped 270% and 190% in Q3 and Q4, respectively, in 2022, year on year, according to the company. More than 290,000 items are currently listed on Kream now.
Kream considers StockX and Hong Kong-based POIZON its closest peers and luxury goods resale platforms like Rebag, The RealReal, and Vestiaire Collective.
One of the C2C reselling platforms’ pain points is counterfeits, particularly for luxury goods.
“Kream has tried to resolve the reliability of products and inconvenient transaction process that customers felt most uncomfortable while using the C2C reselling platforms,” Kim said when asked about its differentiator. “Kream had secured the most data in South Korea to guarantee genuine products.”
After a seller lists the goods on the platform, the product will be sent to Kream’s inspection center to check whether it is genuine or fake. If the internal inspection is passed, the seller can continue to make a deal with a buyer. (If it turns out to be a fake, the seller cannot trade the product on the platform.) Once the transaction deal is completed between consumers, no refund is allowed, but the buyer can resell via the platform, a company spokesperson explained.
The resale luxury market, which was estimated at $30 billion in 2020, is projected to surge continually, with an annual growth rate of 10 -15 percent over the next ten years, per a recent report by Mckinsey.
Reselling marketplace Kream’s valuation rises to $742M with $168M Series C by Kate Park originally published on TechCrunch
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Photo and Author: Kate Park