© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Luxury handbags for sale are displayed at The RealReal shop, a seven-year-old online reseller of luxury items on consignment in the Soho section of Manhattan, in New York City

By Joshua Franklin and Harry Brumpton

(Reuters) – U.S. online luxury reseller The RealReal Inc is talking to investment banks about the possibility of an initial public offering (IPO) later this year, people familiar with the matter said on Friday.

The company – which specializes in online secondhand luxury apparel and goods – has sent out a request for proposals to prospective advisors and underwriters to manage the listing this year, said the sources, who asked not to be identified because they were not authorized to speak publicly.

The RealReal declined to comment.

In July last year, The RealReal raised $115 million of private funding in a deal led by Perella Weinberg Partners, with additional participation from new investor Sandbridge Capital and existing investor Great Hill Partners. The deal valued the company at $745 million, according to data provider PitchBook.

Since then, the company, which was founded in 2011, has focused on expanding its brick-and-mortar presence with outlets in new areas and more online fulfillment centers.

The RealReal’s success is built on a profitable mix of the boom in e-commerce, the millennial interest in the price and environmental benefits of recycled clothing, and the caution of established high-end brands about what selling their wares on the web can do to brand value.

Fellow e-commerce platform Farfetch (N:) went public in last September at the top of its target IPO price range, raising $885 million.

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2019-01-18