Online fashion startup Poshmark raises US$87.5m from Temasek

A woman passes a logo of state investor Temasek Holdings at its office in Singapore July 8, 2014.  — Reuters pic
A woman passes a logo of state investor Temasek Holdings at its office in Singapore July 8, 2014. — Reuters pic

SAN FRANCISCO, Nov 14 — Poshmark has raised US$87.5 million (RM366.47 million) in a funding round led by Singapore's state investor Temasek Holdings, the online fashion retailer said yesterday, positioning the startup for overseas expansion in Europe and Asia.

The funding is the company's largest investment to date and pushes its total financing to nearly US$160 million.

Redwood City, California-based Poshmark, which provides a service to buy and sell second-hand clothing and accessories, raised the funds at a valuation of nearly US$600 million, according to a person familiar with the matter.

Poshmark declined to disclose its valuation.

The Temasek-led financing offers Poshmark a potential strategic partner for its planned expansion into Asia next year, said Chief Executive Manish Chandra. The company, which operates only in the United States, is also planning on launching in Europe in 2018.

Morgan Stanley advised Poshmark on the financing round, Chandra said. The company's previous investors include venture capital firms GGV Capital, Menlo Ventures and Mayfield.

Poshmark is an online marketplace where sellers can post used items for sale, including clothes, jewelry and makeup, and shoppers can bid on the merchandise. Poshmark takes a 20 per cent cut from the sales.

Chandra said Poshmark has more than three million sellers who post about US$4 million worth of fashion inventory to the site every day. He declined to provide figures for revenue or buyers. The company has burned through less than US$50 million in cash since it was founded in 2011, and is not currently profitable, Chandra said.

Poshmark also announced yesterday a voice-enabled service available through Amazon's personal assistant, Alexa. Users can request help selecting a certain outfit or style, and sellers on Poshmark will upload personalized outfit suggestions to the shopper's online account.

While it is investing in new technologies, Chandra said the company has no plans to replace sellers with robots.

“We are using technology to bring people together rather than replace them,” he said. “There are actual people interacting and talking and consulting with you, like it used to be in the olden days.” — Reuters

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