17. The RealReal

What's in your closet?

Founder: Julie Wainwright (CEO)
Launched: 2011
Headquarters: San Francisco
Funding:
$171.9 million (PitchBook)
Valuation: $450 million (PitchBook)
Key technologies:
Internet of things
Disrupting:
E-commerce, fashion, lifestyle

George Kavallines | CNBC

This San Francisco-based company connects buyers and sellers of luxury designer goods, including clothing, jewelry, handbags and furniture. Making good on its name, The RealReal vets every item on its site, making sure it's actually the real thing from the designer whose label it carries. Among them: Gucci, Chanel and Prada. Like many consignment models, the company doesn't purchase its goods, but rather makes a commission once the item sells. Consignors earn up to 70 percent of the items they sell, and The RealReal offers free in-home pickup and authentication.

Read More: FULL LIST: 2018 DISRUPTOR 50

Founder Julie Wainwright, the former CEO of Pets.com, started the company in 2011. After the very public demise of the online pet-supply company in 2000, she searched for her next job. None of the offers she received inspired her, so after watching a friend buy secondhand designer goods from a luxury boutique, she eventually came up with the idea for The RealReal. Since starting, the company has raised $173 million from Canaan Partners, Greycroft Partners and Great Hill Partners. Last year it brought in $500 million in revenue and opened its first brick-and-mortar store in New York City. Although the company hasn't revealed if more stores are on the way, Wainwright has stated that an IPO is in the company's plans, calling it "a really smart thing to do."

Latest Special Reports

  • senior couple on beach

    A fixed-income strategy is key for investors who are retired or are approaching retirement. This special report details the range of tools and strategies used to manage a fixed income portfolio.

  • The nexus of technology -- cloud, social, mobile and data -- are transforming user behaviors and creating new businesses.

  • NYSE Trader on the floor

    The buzz on the trading floor

Tech