Archive, which makes harnessing the booming gently-worn apparel resale market for brands easy so they can control their own secondhand fashion destinies, said today that it has raised $8 million with participation from an A-list of fashion insiders such as Alexander Bolen, CEO of Oscar de la Renta; Shan Lyn-Ma, cofounder of Zola; Dawn Dobras; designer Steven Alan, and Marigay McKee, former president of Saks Fifth Avenue.
The financing follows initial investments from Firstmark, Bain Capital Ventures, and the founders of Warby Parker, Allbirds and, Harry’s, bringing Archive’s total funds raised to $10 million. The round was co-led by Lightspeed Venture Partners and Bain.
Co-founded by Emily Gittins and Ryan Rowe, Archive offers a complete operating system for brands to power their own resale experience in a resource and capital-light way. Through each customized resale marketplace, consumers can buy and sell secondhand items directly from their own e-commerce sites and alongside new inventory, reflecting the integrated shopping experience of the future.
A white label peer-to-peer marketplace for secondhand fashion, Archive allows consumers to buy and sell pre-worn items directly on a brand’s web site without the need for having to manage inventory.
Gittins, cofounder and CEO of Archive was enrolled in Stanford University’s MBA program when she became fascinated by the circular economy.
“The secondhand fashion retail market is exploding and is currently estimated at $130 billion globally,” said Sarah Smith, partner at Bain Capital Ventures. “It seems inevitable that brands will operate their own resale markets to attract a new segment of customers, promote sustainability, drive customer loyalty, and take control of the experience. The team at Archive is disrupting how resale works today. They’ve built the superior technology solution while having empathy for the unique needs of each brand as they launch this new business line.”
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The latest financing will fuel the company’s growth by accelerating the development of new custom integrations, adding physical touchpoints to the customer’s journey, providing warehouse solutions for bulk inventory, and scaling the engineering and operations teams to continue serving Archive’s brand partners with high-quality, tailored experiences.
Since its launch in February 2021, Archive has powered the resale for future-minded fashion brands such as Dagne Dover (Almost Vintage), Filippa K. (Preowned), M.M. LaFleur (Second Act), The North Face (Renewed Marketplace), and most recently, luxury fashion house Oscar de la Renta (Encore). Each resale experience reflects the company’s unique brand story and creative vision, so customers can shop both new and secondhand products seamlessly on their web sites.
“We believe that resale will be a key driver for both acquisition and retention of our customers for the foreseeable future. As such, developing a robust resale experience that is consistent with the existing world of Oscar de la Renta has been a strategic imperative,” said Oscar de la Renta’s Bolen. “We’ve achieved this goal with Encore by Oscar de la Renta by utilizing both Archive’s superior technology and the ‘can-do’ approach of Emily and the Archive team. Their solutions, including an auction functionality and charitable donation option, provide Oscar de la Renta with a unique customer offering. We look forward to building on our already strong partnership with Archive.”
Like a true collaborator, Archive has helped brands acquire new customers, increase brand loyalty and retention, and move toward becoming a more sustainable, responsible retail player. Brands have ownership of their secondhand market without taking on the logistics and supply chain complexities.
“We founded Archive to give brands the resources to create a circular business model and ultimately help create a more sustainable industry,” said Gittins. “Producing high-quality products and integrating secondhand into the shopping experience is the only way for retailers to truly be more sustainable. It’s been exciting to watch our partners introduce resale and we’re looking forward to making it the industry standard.”
Archive’s data-first approach ensures the best unit economics for brands and consumers, through its technology. Archive can predict the best time to sell specific items, suggest pricing, easily integrate into a company’s CRM, and provide insights to brands to improve quality and UX. Sellers receive either store credit or cash for sold items, with 75% of current sellers opting for store credit. The unique model creates a closed ecosystem where brands, buyers, and sellers all engage in one place.
Archive’s mission is to help brands become more sustainable and extend the life cycle of apparel and other products. The company has plans to expand beyond the fashion category while providing an incredible buying/selling experience for all retailers interested in testing the resale business model.