Australia’s leading peer-to-peer fashion lending marketplace, The Volte has announced it has closed an oversubscribed seed funding round of $700,000 from a consortium of angel investors.
The funding will be used for technical upgrades to the platform to ensure a seamless buying and selling experience, as well as for expansion of its teams across a number of roles in both its Sydney and Perth locations.
With this funding announcement, The Volte is on track with its local growth strategy and plans to capitalise on the high market opportunity that exists thanks to the continued rise of the sharing economy and increased global concern around sustainability in fashion.
The sharing economy in Australia is estimated to be over $15.1bn*. In 2018, 36% of Australians were using the sharing economy, which was forecast to grow 22% by 2019**. Mirroring this trend, The Volte saw a 400% growth in revenue in 2018, with the platform now boasting a retail value of over $10million, more than 100,000 active users per month and over 15,000 listings.
Kym Atkins, Cofounder, The Volte said the funding had come at an ideal time: “We recognised early on the potential the sharing economy held for the fashion industry and our rapid growth and proven business model show that demand is only increasing. We have seen a huge uptake in demand for peer-to-peer fashion lending as more and more Australians are seeing their wardrobes as an investment, capable of earning them income. Not only that, but many of us are wising up to the negative impact that the fast fashion industry has on the environment.
“This investment will help set us up for this continued growth as we solidify our position as the leading peer-to-peer fashion lending platform in Australia. Partnering with the right investors was very important to us, and each investor is bringing a diverse range of skills, connections and strong mentorship to help us steer the company in the right direction. We are excited about what the future holds for The Volte and look forward to helping even more women earn a passive income from the glamorous dresses sitting untouched in their wardrobes.”
The Volte was founded in 2017 by four friends Kym Atkins, Bernadette Olivier, Genevieve Hohnen and Jade Hirniak. They swapped their corporate careers when they recognised an opportunity to start a marketplace whereby women could make money from all those unworn and barely worn clothes in their wardrobe.
The sharing economy platform has since helped women across Australia save and make hundreds or thousands of dollars by renting out their investment pieces from anywhere between $20 – $2,000 per hire. But it’s not just individuals reaping the benefits of the platform. The Volte also provides an opportunity for smaller, local rental boutiques to join the growing platform.
“We looked at the rental boutiques in Australia when we launched and realised only 5 per cent had an online presence. By joining The Volte, we are able to give these rental boutiques a 24/7 national exposure, reaching an audience that they might not have the capabilities to otherwise, and therefore helping their bricks and mortar business survive and thrive, ” Kym added.