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SoftBank Jumps Into Secondhand Market with Vestiaire Collective Investment

French online fashion platform Vestiaire Collective’s valuation hit $1.7 billion after a fundraising round that includes $209 million from SoftBank Group Corp.’s private equity arm SoftBank Vision Fund 2, according to a Bloomberg report Wednesday (Sept. 22).

Other investors in Vestiaire’s latest funding round include Generation Investment Management and existing shareholders, including Conde Nast and Eurazeo. The company raised the same amount in May during a fundraising effort that included Gucci owner Kering SA and Tiger Global Management.

SoftBank Chief Operating Officer Marcelo Claure will join the Vestiaire Collective board as part of its investment.

Vestiaire Collective will use the fresh influx of cash to improve its technology and enter new markets, according to the Bloomberg report. Company leaders also want to build a “more sustainable fashion industry,” including pushing for local transactions to reduce the carbon footprint of deliveries, the report said.

Those logistics represent “our biggest part of carbon emissions; we’re really working on reducing that,” Vestiaire Collective Chief Executive Officer Maximilian Bittner said.

Vestiaire said its worldwide orders have gone up 90% in the past 12 months and have doubled in the U.S. The company is making more progress in Hong Kong, Singapore and other Asian markets.

Related: Secondhand Market Presents ‘Big Opportunity’ for Retailers Ahead of Holidays

Marcus Shen, chief operating officer at Stock, told PYMNTS that demand for secondhand items “went crazy” during the COVID-19 pandemic as the world increasingly shifted online and supply chain disruptions caused rolling shortages of certain new items.

A report by thredUP and GlobalData earlier this year projected that resale is expected to grow 11 times faster in apparel than the broader retail clothing sector over the next five years, with the secondhand market reaching $77 billion by 2025.

“This young generation — Generation Z, millennials — all of them are just far more aware of what companies are doing with products and merchandise and things along those lines,” Shen told PYMNTS.

The idea of buying secondhand no longer has as much of a stigma among consumers, he said, “and so they can get good, quality goods, long-lasting merchandise, for less-than-retail prices.”

PYMNTS research, conducted in collaboration with LendingClub, showed that 125 million U.S. adults, or 54% of consumers, are living paycheck to paycheck, including 70% of millennials and 53% of people who earn between $50,000 and $100,000 per year.

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