Archive Raises $15M Series A to Scale Its Resale Platform
While in-store shopping has fallen off in favor of the online alternative, the basic premise of the consumer retail experience hasn’t changed all that much. Many of us are well-versed in sifting through the rack at a department store or clicking through pages on a store’s website in search of items made by a brand we know and trust.
The process is especially apparent when it comes to secondhand shopping. Thrifty consumers gain access to reputable branded items without the brands themselves having to manufacture new products. Instead, they launch programs that let customers earn money or store credit when they send back their pre-owned items so the brand can resell them.
Resale has been gaining ground with brands and consumers in recent years, so much so that the fashion resale sector is projected to reach a market value of $196 billion by 2025, according to thredUP’s 2022 resale report.
Archive is a San Francisco company looking to make the most of this growing trend. The company announced Tuesday a $15 million round of Series A funding to build out its operating system that lets brands create customized resale programs. Led by Lightspeed Venture Partners, the round brings Archive’s total raised capital to $24 million.
Archive has set out to make the fashion industry more environmentally friendly, aiming to help brands increase their revenue without increasing production. By partnering with brands including The North Face, Cuyana and M.M. LaFleur, Archive aims to incentivize secondhand shopping with a consumer experience comparable to buying those items new.
“I have always been a thrift shopper but felt a lot of friction in the process — everything from finding high-quality items [to] pricing pieces,” Emily Gittins, Archive’s CEO and co-founder, told Built In via email. “When focusing my career on climate change mitigation, I learned that 8 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions actually came from the fashion industry. I was compelled to try to help change that.”
Archive has seen substantial growth since the time of its seed round in 2021 due largely to its platform’s economic and environmental benefits. The company currently has 32 brand partners and has grown its revenue by more than 10x over the last 12 months, according to co-founders Gittins and Ryan Rowe, who also serves as Archive’s CTO.
By helping brands sell pre-owned items, Archive helps keep textiles out of landfills longer and lessens pollution from the production of new garments. It also works to increase brands’ customer engagement as well as their products’ lifetime value. Furthermore, it helps brands acquire new customers who may not have previously been able to afford their products.
The fresh capital will help Archive further its mission of reducing waste by growing the secondhand goods industry. The company, currently serving brands across the U.S., Canada and Europe, plans to further its European expansion and build new product capabilities for its partners there.
Alongside furthering its international capabilities, Archive plans to put the bulk of its funding toward accelerating several areas of its platform. The company wants to advance its existing peer-to-peer, brand-managed, vintage marketplace, mail-in and in-store offerings. It also plans to expand into new categories outside of fashion and apparel, scale its warehouse management tech and explore partnerships with businesses like logistics and refurbishment companies.
“Our philosophy from the beginning has been to build significant revenue streams for brands through resale. The market continues to quickly accelerate and we’re seeing more and more large brands getting serious about resale and making large commitments to how much of their business should be circular,” Gittins and Rowe said. “We’re really excited for a world where buying secondhand is the default.”
With more than 35 people on its team, Archive is looking to hire new talent across engineering and brand success with its latest raise.