It’s no easy market to corner, but there are plenty of startups in Europe fighting it out to become the leading online secondhand marketplace. One of Germany’s more established platforms is Kleiderkreisel, which has just received a $6.5m funding round from Accel Partners along with Schmidt Projekt-Service and angel investor Alexis de Belloy.
Kleiderkreisel will use the funding to establish its brand in the crowded secondhand market, plus improve its customer care. It’s the first large funding round for the Munich-based company.
Launched in 2009, the startup lets people sell, swap and gift their unwanted clothing. Similarly to German competitor Mädchenflohmarkt it offers real-world marketplaces, organised so people can meet in person and swap their clothes. According to the British business register, the company behind Kleiderkreisel GmbH is London-based Friendly Fashion Limited.
Kleiderkreisel and Mädchenflohmarkt aren’t the only German-language startup offering vintage clothing – other competitors include the obvious eBay, along with VintageHub and Preloved.ch, plus newly launched Glamloop and Rebelle, which both offer high-end secondhand fashion. There are also a number of apps aggregating vintage clothing from stores rather than individuals, such as Deutsche Telekom-backed Stylemarks. The vintage marketplaces have to battle it out with the big European players in online fashion such as Asos and Urban Outfitters, both include secondhand segments.
In an interview with VentureVillage’s sister magazine, Gründerszene, Kleiderkreisel founder Sophie Utikal said: “Kleiderkreisel is more than just a marketplace: It’s a community, in which the concept of collaborative consumption is brought to life in all its facets.”
She also named the site’s figures – over 920,000 members have signed up to register 5.3 million articles. When asked how they stand out from the competition, she said their focus on the community and interactive features means they develop the site with their users. Rather than taking a percentage of sales or ask for a fixed fee per clothing item, as some of its competitors do, Kleiderkreisel is financed via advertising.
Image credit: _foam
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