- Secondhand ecommerce platform Vinted exclusively confirmed its acquisition of smaller Dutch challenger United Wardrobe for an undisclosed amount.
- Vinted is valued at more than $1 billion, and the news comes as the resale market explodes.
- In an exclusive interview with Business Insider, both parties revealed how the seeds of a deal were planted almost two years ago following a chance meeting in a Dutch bar.
- Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.
Vinted, the online marketplace for secondhand clothing in Europe, has confirmed the acquisition of a rival startup for an undisclosed amount.
Founded in 2008, Lithuania's Vinted lets users buy, sell, and swap unwanted items of clothing and accessories. The private company is backed by the likes of Accel and Insight Venture Partners,
The firm surpassed a $1 billion valuation following a major funding round towards the end of 2019, and exclusively confirmed it had tightened its grip on the European market by buying out Dutch challenger United Wardrobe.
In an interview with Business Insider, Vinted CEO Thomas Plantenga said he had been "very impressed" with United Wardrobe's speed and focus: "It started to bug me, you know, and I just thought, 'Why are we competing?'"
Seeds of a deal were planted almost two years ago, when one of United Wardrobe's cofounders met Plantenga in a bar in the Dutch city of Utrecht. "He was in town visiting family and … it was an exciting thing to do, to chat with the Vinted CEO," said CEO Sjuul Berden.
"We had been challenging them in the French market but, as it turned out, Thomas was just a really cool and humble guy, and someone we thought very quickly we could work with."
As of today, the United Wardrobe platform will merge entirely with Vinted's, bringing an additional 4 million new users to the latter's 30 million-strong customer base, and taking their employee headcount to around 535. Vinted operates in 11 across Europe, and in the US.
"It makes a lot of sense to consolidate our users, we feel, and we're incredibly excited for the future," said Platenga.
Both parties declined to comment when asked how much Vinted had paid to acquire United Wardrobe.
The news comes as the clothing resale market heats up both in the US and Europe. Vinted says it saw an uptick in business, as lockdowns prevented people from visiting physical stores, and triggered wardrobe clearouts. German online retailer Zalando added a pre-owned section to its platform in September, while American thrift store startup ThredUp submitted the paperwork for an IPO earlier in October. According to GlobalData and ThredUp, the global resale market is set to hit $64 billion by 2024.
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