Releaseit, a Sydney-based Australian integrated re-commerce technology company, is actively seeking AUD 3m (USD 2.2m) on a pre-money valuation of AUD 15m to accelerate growth and achieve profitability by 2023, MD and co-founder Peter Krideras said.
The company is building an aggregated rental marketplace for existing rental companies as well as to facilitate renting options for retailers and consumers. It has also started a GreenFriday initiative as a sustainable alternative to the Black Friday and Click Frenzy sales, which could be a precursor to the launch of a global sustainable marketplace for ethical brands, Krideras said.
Funds from the current raise will primarily be used to fully launch its GreenFriday initiative and to scale its rental marketplace, which is already revenue-generating from more than 104 niche rental players including Adelaide-based appliance renter Snaffle, New Zealand-based campervan renter Jucy and Sydney-based apparel renter GlamCorner, with another 17 brands ready to be on-boarded, he said.
Releaseit expects to undertake future capital raises to continue building and scaling its marketplace and to launch offshore, with timing and size of the raises dependent on how profitable it becomes and on opportunities that present, Krideras added.
The company, which has raised some AUD 3.5m since its inception in early 2021, was co-founded by Krideras and Stephen Kulmar, who are the main shareholders, the MD said. Other investors include Sydney-based investment and advisory firm RetailTech Capital and early angel investors including retail industry veterans, he added.
RetailTech Capital is also Releaseit’s financial advisor and interested investors are welcome to approach the advisor with expressions of interest, Krideras said.
Releaseit is keen to hear from like-minded investors with a partnership approach and commitment not only to building profit but also supporting sustainability goals, Krideras said. It will consider both passive and active investors, including venture capital firms in Australia or globally especially its initial target markets of the UK and US, he said.
There is an emerging global shift to disrupt retail consumerism with more sustainable re-commerce, which refers to selling previously owned products for reuse, recycling or resale, but the market remains highly fragmented with niche offerings and lack of broad access to sustainable goods and services, Krideras said.
While there are numerous start-ups supporting aspects of the re-commerce chain, Releaseit does not see any direct competitors as it is building a circular model for a circular economy with a two-sided end-to-end marketplace more akin to business models in other sectors like Uber in the motor vertical and Airbnb in accommodation, he said.
Releaseit also has a mature leadership team spearheading the creation of this new initiative, with co-founder Kulmar being a highly regarded Australia and New Zealand marketing and communications expert, noted Krideras, who was a co-founder of Click Frenzy.
Reusing products once had the stigma of being ‘secondhand’ and ‘for the poor’, but today it is seen as progressive and supportive of a sustainable circular economy, noted Krideras. The global online clothing rental market alone is expected to achieve a CAGR of 17.9% and be worth USD 3bn during 2022-2026, according to ResearchAndMarkets.
by Louise Weihart
Senior Journalist, Sydney