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eBay invests in Australian dress rental platform

eBay is backing an Australian online rental startup.

eBay Inc. is expanding its presence in the online rental market with a new funding project.

The e-commerce giant’s venture capital arm eBay Ventures led a recently closed Series A capital raise for The Volte, an Australian startup that lets consumers rent luxury dresses to other consumers. The Volte, which doesn’t hold any inventory, says it is now one of the largest designer rental marketplaces globally.

In October 2022, The Volte launched a direct integration with retailers and designers which allows users to instantly list newly purchased items for rental and enables designers to earn royalties from their items each time the item is rented or sold on its platform.

Month-over-month, The Volte’s bookings have doubled in 2023, with more than 70,000 dresses listed on the platform and 300,000 monthly active users. According to the company, on average, a dress is rented out nine times on The Volte. However, some popular dresses see hundreds of requests.

In connection with the investment, the companies are also planning to enter into a commercial partnership. The Series A investment round, which totaled about $2.7 million, also included funding from venture capital firm BetterLabs.

“Key to the fashion industry becoming sustainable is for better-made, high-quality items to stay in circulation for longer,” said The Volte CEO and co-founder Bernadette Olivier. “Our partnership with eBay will strengthen The Volte’s ambition to grow the circular fashion economy in Australia and we are already working with eBay Australia on several initiatives that will reduce fashion disposability.”

"eBay has long been a champion of fashion recommerce, with 16 million pre-loved fashion items listed for sale on in previous years,” said eBay Australia head of fashion Brooke Eichhorn. “This partnership with The Volte will enable us to continue challenging and changing what it means to buy, sell and love fashion. Buy now, earn now, sell later are opportunities that last a lifetime. By pioneering greater accessibility, transparency and sustainability – we are way ahead of the curve in making fashion go further.”

eBay invests in SidelineSwap resale platform

eBay Ventures also recently made an unspecified strategic investment in SidelineSwap, an online marketplace for new and used sporting goods. SidelineSwap operates a peer-to-peer online marketplace and trade-in partnerships with retailers and brands, notably including Dick’s Sporting Goods.

SidelineSwap offers the SidelineSwap Trade-in Platform, which includes pop-up events, in-store and online trade-in options, and a suite of tools for resellers to manage their own trade-in experiences. The platform’s hybrid model, which includes peer-to-peer and first party sales, gives sellers the option to choose direct resale or instant trade-in value.

Founded in San Jose, Calif., in 1995, eBay Inc. eBay enabled nearly $74 billion of gross merchandise volume during 2022.

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