This Female-Founded Company Just Raised $50 Million in VC Funding
The RealReal appears to be the real thing.
On Tuesday, the consignment company confirmed that it has raised $50 million from private equity firm Great Hill Partners in the biggest round led by a female-founded company this year, according to data from M&A, private equity, and venture capital database PitchBook.
That brings the company’s fundraising total to $173 million, making it one of the most well-capitalized women-run startups; Rent the Runway has received $179 million in funding so far after closing its Series E round last December. The clothing rental company’s $60 million round was the biggest raised by female founders in recent history, according to Forbes.
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The RealReal news comes a little over a year after the startup closed its $40 million Series E round, but raising capital didn’t initially come easily to founder and CEO Julie Wainwright. Speaking to Fortune in March, she said she had initially found it difficult to woo investors.
“When you have different businesses that aren’t proven that may appeal more to a female [customer], a female investor is going to be able to evaluate that” better than a male investor could, she said. “I think in general, most VCs are trying to do their jobs, but there are a lot of unconscious biases.” Wainwright recalled one particular episode when—in a pitch meeting—a male VC put his shoes on the table and told her that he could not see ever wanting to sell them or buy another man’s shoes. Needless to say, he is not a current investor.
TechCrunch reports that The RealReal is on track to sell $500 million through the platform this year and, in another parallel to Rent the Runway, may be opening a series of brick-and-mortar stores this year.