June 28, 2019 / 3:14 PM / 21 days ago

Luxury online reseller The RealReal soars 40% in debut

June 28 (Reuters) - Shares of U.S. online luxury reseller The RealReal Inc jumped 40% in their debut on Friday, giving it a market capitalization of $2.32 billion and signaling increased investor appetite for listings of consumer companies.

The shares opened at $28, above their initial public offering price of $20.

The offering of 15 million shares was priced at $20, above the expected range of $17 and $19 per share, helping the company raise $300 million in net proceeds.

The RealReal, which specializes in selling and buying second-hand luxury items including clothing and accessories, was founded by Chief Executive Officer Julie Wainwright in 2011.

People can list their unwanted luxury goods, some that are either used or still have tags on them, and the company then takes a cut when a sale is made.

The RealReal, which started out as a business run from Wainwright's kitchen table, now processes nearly 2 million orders. It has expanded its physical presence by opening two brick-and-mortar stores in Manhattan and one in Los Angeles that collect as well as sell goods.

The company has been thriving on the rising sales of second-hand, or vintage, luxury goods - from Chanel handbags and Gucci dresses to Rolex watches - banking on growing millennial interest in the price and environmental benefits of recycled clothing.

The personal luxury goods market is expected to grow to between $364 and $415 billion in 2025, with millennials expected to represent 40% of the market, according to research firm Bain & Co.

Rival resellers are looking to cash in on the booming market, including thredUP, which branched into luxury last year, and established players like Vestiaire Collective.

The RealReal at the end of March offered over 620,000 authenticated, pre-owned luxury goods on its online marketplace bearing the brand of over 5,500 luxury and premium designers.

The top-selling luxury designers on The RealReal's online marketplace include Cartier, Chanel, Christian Louboutin, Gucci, Hermès, Louis Vuitton, Prada, Rolex, Tiffany and Valentino.

The company posted a net loss of $75.8 million in 2018, compared with a loss of $52.3 million in 2017, on revenue of $207.4 million, up over 55%, its filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission showed.

Investors in the San Francisco-based company include Perella Weinberg Partners and Great Hill Partners. (Reporting by Aparajita Saxena and Aishwarya Venugopal in Bengaluru; Editing by Shailesh Kuber)

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