Toronto-based e-commerce startup Rebelstork has secured $5 million CAD in Series A financing to take its used baby products marketplace to new cities, including Vancouver.
The all-equity round was led by Vancouver’s Haywood Securities, with participation from Toronto’s K2 & Associates and Venn Growth Partners. The fresh capital brings Rebelstork’s total funding to date to $7 million CAD, following its $2 million seed round from undisclosed investors last September.
“We had exceptional growth over the past year.”
-Emily Hosie, Rebelstork’s founder, CEO
Rebelstork’s founder and CEO Emily Hosie told BetaKit that, amid the pandemic, her startup saw “substantial” revenue and user base growth, as parents increasingly sought a “hassle-free, easy way to buy and sell their baby gear.”
Founded in 2019, Rebelstork describes itself as “North America’s first tech-driven and price-reduced baby gear marketplace.” The startup offers a platform that helps parents buy and sell overstock, open box, and used baby goods.
Hosie, who previously worked for TJX, Saks Fifth Avenue, and Holt Renfrew, began the fundraising process for this round while she herself was pregnant. The CEO gave birth to her daughter, her second child, in December.
“Raising capital in general is like an olympic sport,” said Hosie. “It is not obviously easy for anybody, and I think being pregnant just adds another element [of difficulty].”
Rebelstork’s business has two components: its overstock and open box side, and its resale marketplace. What differentiates Rebelstork’s marketplace from some other online marketplaces, the company argues, is its “managed” approach, which involves the pick up of goods, quality checks, condition ratings, and fair-pricing based on the company’s proprietary pricing algorithm.
“We had exceptional growth over the past year,” said Hosie. “So, we want to expand, we want to grow the team, we want to build up the tech side of our business more.” The CEO said the startup’s user base of buyers and sellers, which Rebelstork refers to as its “flock,” has expanded to over 45,000 members “in a very short period of time.”
“COVID almost acted as a way of accelerating the growth of resale,” said Hosie, who added that it gave people “a moment to reevaluate and … a time to reset, rethink our actions and [make] the best decisions for the environment.”
According to Hosie, the baby industry has traditionally “lagged behind other verticals in providing customers the level of convenience that Rebelstork offers.”
Rebelstork currently ships products across Canada, but currently, the resale side of its business is only available in the Greater Toronto Area, which Hosie said reaches over to Hamilton and up to Caledon.
Fresh capital in hand, Rebelstork plans to launch its resale marketplace in Vancouver next week. Hosie said the startup also aims to use some of the funding to invest in its tech and fuel its expansion into other cities.
Rebelstork currently has 16 employees and plans to add four or five more in the near future. The startup recently built out its executive team by adding former Poshmark CFO Mannan Latif, CTO Ajay Sirohi, and former TJX executives Tatum Nolan, as head of merchandising, and Jennifer Patel as head of resale.
Post-COVID-19, Hosie anticipates demand for Rebelstork will remain strong. “The pandemic helped us with awareness, but we’re a convenience to parents,” she said. “And I think that people are leaning on convenience more and more in everyday life, as technology gets better and better.”
Photo courtesy of Rebelstork