You know the IPO market is welcoming when the ex-CEO of Pets.com can trot out an offering. But shares of The RealReal shot up 40% in early Friday trading, making the luxury consignment company's offering a success - at least, to start.
Julie Wainwright, who was the CEO of the famous and now-defunct startup Pets.com when it went belly-up less than 12 months after its offering, has brought The RealReal ($PRIVATE:THEREALREAL) public, offering investors the opportunity to buy into the luxury consignment website that has grown at impressive trajectory, according to its alternative data.
Our first chart tracks The RealReal's headcount, measured by the number of people on LinkedIn ($MSFT) who identify the online (and, increasingly, brick-and-mortar) used-luxury-goods company as their place of employment. And, it reflects that The RealReal's staff size has really grown to nearly double what it was in the beginning of 2018.
The RealReal's website appears to be gaining more attention from consumers. According to its S-1 filing, The RealReal completed 1.6 million transactions in calendar 2018. This could be viewed as a signal it will keep getting more attention, more transactions, and more subsequent revenue.
The RealReal only recently rolled out brick-and-mortar luxury consignment locations to complement its digital presence. The company appears to have targeted areas where median incomes are higher - which, even for a brand selling used luxury goods, is a safe strategy. And, as our final chart (below) shows, the early numbers are in and they look good - the company's Facebook ($FB) "Were Here" count is trending upwards. As the chart above shows, The RealReal has just a handful of stores. Meanwhile, it has been testing out pop-up shops ever since its last funding round made it a unicorn.
The RealReal is expected to make its market debut Friday June 28, bringing in $270 million - which should be welcome news to backers including Canaan Partners and Greycroft.
As for whether or not the luxury consignment business model has legs, the next growth metric we will be watching is its brick-and-mortar footprint.
About the Data:
Thinknum tracks companies using information they post online - jobs, social and web traffic, product sales and app ratings - and creates data sets that measure factors like hiring, revenue and foot traffic. Data sets may not be fully comprehensive (they only account for what is available on the web), but they can be used to gauge performance factors like staffing and sales.