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Poshmark funding and Alexa link-up mean social shopping progress

Social shopping took a step forward this week as Poshmark, the US-focused social fashion marketplace raised its latest funding round.

Not exciting? Well, yes it is really given that Poshmark is the world’s largest business of its kind and its new funds ($87.5m giving it a valuation of around $625m) mean it can launch more initiatives like its latest – Poshmark Stylist Match.

This works with Amazon’s Alexa and allows users to ask for specific themed looks (like Athleisure, Date Night or Brunch with Friends). They then get matches from top stylists via the app.

It’s all part of a digitalisation process that is changing not only the way consumers shop for fashion but also the way everyone shops for everything.

Importantly, Poshmark is an e-tail site that actually looks more like a social network than a straight e-commerce operation and this is one aspect that’s been crucial to its growth as it fosters a community spirit and acts as more than just a way to sell stuff people don’t want any more.

It’s one of the best examples of businesses that have been disrupting the fashion sector and businesses that have taken fashion resale into a whole giant new area. It’s profitable and claims one in 50 US women use it to resell fashion items.

The company provides a marketplace for people to buy, sell and share fashion with around 3m stylists who range from ordinary consumers to (increasingly) small businesses and boutiques, who curate around 8m items on the site daily. Around 150,000 new items are also added to the site each day.

The money it has raised will be used to upgrade its platform as well as taking an even deeper dive into artificial intelligence, to link up with bigger brands and to go international with Europe and Asia in its sights.

Despite occasional growing pains, the company has expended fast and its average user spends around 20 minutes a day on it, which is pretty impressive for an e-commerce business. As it grows, it has been adding to its men’s and kids’ offer, as well as its core womenswear offer.

Announcing the new funding, founder and CEO Manish Chandra said: “With the introduction of social styling, we’re revolutionising the way people shop by combining data, social interactions and people-powered commerce to create the fashion mall for the Instagram generation.”

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