Retail in Asia


Taiwan luxury resale platform PopChill raises USD1.3 million in funding

PopChill expansion

PopChill, a luxury resale platform catering primarily to Taiwan and Hong Kong clients, has recently concluded a Pre-A+ funding round, securing USD3.1 million toward its continued expansion.

With this fresh injection of funds, PopChill aims to achieve break-even in Taiwan by the end of the year and drive accelerated growth in the Hong Kong market. The luxury resale platform also aims to expand into Singapore within the year.

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“Outside of PopChill and other online options, most transactions, [around] 70 percent, are conducted offline in Taiwan, with about 100 brick-and-mortar stores for secondhand luxury,” PopChill co-founder Andy Kuo shares exclusively with Retail in Asia, speaking on Taiwan’s luxury resale environment.

“The remaining 30 percent of transactions occur online. Before PopChill, people turned to platforms like Shopee, Carousell, or Facebook groups to trade secondhand luxury items.”

According to Kuo, brick-and-mortar stores usually have “a limited collection” of 300 to 500 items due to space constraints.

PopChill co-founders Andy Kuo and Jiaxin Liao
PopChill co-founders Andy Kuo and Jiaxin Liao. Source: PopChill

In addition to the previously announced USD1.8 million, the company attracted an additional USD1.3 million from prominent investors, including Top Taiwan Venture Capital.

This brings the total raised in this funding round to USD3.1 million, and the overall investment in PopChill to USD6.2 million, with the participation of earlier contributors such as 500 Global, Acorn Pacific, ITIC, AVA Angels Fund, Acorn Pacific Ventures, and Darwin Ventures.

PopChill plans to expand its workforce throughout the year, increasing the staff count in Taiwan from 26 to 35, expanding the Hong Kong team from four to 10 members, and establishing a presence in the new market, planned to be Singapore, with up to three personnel.

PopChill is strategically capitalising on the flourishing luxury resale sector, which has witnessed remarkable growth, doubling in size over the past four years.

According to Bain & Company estimates, global sales of secondhand luxury products reached approximately USD49.3 billion in 2023.

Taiwan and Hong Kong, both integral markets for PopChill, boast some of the highest per capita expenditures on luxury goods globally.

Since its launch last year, PopChill says it has experienced rapid growth in its Hong Kong operations. Hong Kong sales now account for 10 percent of the company’s total transaction volume.

PopChill addresses the demand for a secure luxury resale platform in Asia, particularly in Taiwan. A significant factor to its success is the an advanced authentication technology provided by AI company Entrupy, which boasts an accuracy rate of 99.1 percent, according to PopChill. Source: PopChill

PopChill offers a wide range of over 100,000 items, collaborating with three of Japan’s top ten luxury resellers, as well as suppliers from Taiwan and Hong Kong.

The platform’s most sought-after brands, namely Chanel, Louis Vuitton and Hermès, contribute to 60 percent of total revenues.

“The market for standard second-hand clothing is relatively small, but for luxury items, it’s quite substantial in Taiwan, particularly among the younger generation,” Kuo says. “With a limited budget and a heightened awareness of sustainable fashion, many young people are willing to purchase second-hand luxury items.”

Kuo notes that while customers in more advanced resale markets such as the US and Europe tend to prefer “unique” items, in Taiwan and in many other countries, client preferences lean toward classic items.

“Black is the most popular colour choice. Chanel, LV, and Hermès are the top three brands that customers prefer to purchase,” Kuo says.

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Handbags represent 80 percent of sales, and PopChill plans to diversify its offerings in the next six to 12 months by including watches and jewellery.

Kuo expressed his confidence in the company’s potential to succeed in new markets, stating, “The potential for luxury resale in Asia is tremendous and largely untapped, with no clear leader outside of China. The key to success is security, and we are reacting to this by constantly improving our authentication processes. We are confident in our potential to succeed in new markets because not only can we bring our technology and know-how, but also our thousands of sellers that can ship cross-border.”