Formal wear company Queenly makes its first acquisition after rapid growth in early 2022.

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Quinleya start-up that creates a market for formal wear for women announced this morning the purchase of Mi Padrino, a company created to serve the quinceañera market.

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The overlap between the two companies is clear: Quinceañeras, events where girls celebrate their 15th birthday with a big event and ornate clothing, are the kind of events supported by the Queenly product. The deal caught our attention not because of a lack of synergy, but rather because of the relative youth of Queenly herself.

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TechCrunch wondered if the current market downturn is will lead to mergers and acquisitions within startups. The Queenly deal is one data point that supports this particular thesis.

And Queenly is a startup that some of us at TechCrunch we’ve been looking at him since he was part of Y Combinator and through it 2021 fundraising activities. Therefore, when the company announced that, despite its relatively modest corporate age, it had bought something, we called. Let’s talk about it.

Quinley’s height

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TechCrunch Contacts Queenly CEO Trisha Bantig this week to discuss the deal and the status of her formalwear-focused startup. (If her name sounds familiar, remember that Buntig featured on the Equity podcast chat about remote accelerators in early 2021 and wrote an essay about the mental health impact of starting a startup for Fortune in 2022.) We wanted to find out very simply: how does the company work and why is it buying another startup so early?

In terms of performance, the company seems to be doing well. Since Queenly is inherently tied to the IRL market, as COVID wanes in the minds of consumers and formal wear events return to our calendars, we can expect it to see rapid growth in recent quarters. Right. According to Bantig, Queenly’s business actually doubled from the fourth quarter of 2021 to the first quarter of 2022, and again from the first quarter of 2022 to the second quarter of this year.

This growth is not entirely attributable to the company’s original business. Over time, Queenly has expanded its model beyond reselling custom clothing. It also works with smaller prom and formal wear stores that lack a digital presence and has deals with some clothing brands to sell directly through its website. Around 75% of Queenly’s transactions are resales, another 15% are small business partners and the last 10% are designers themselves, according to Bantig.

Deal with Mi Padrino

Bantig said Queenly was originally linked to Mi Padrino through an investor. During an early call, Bantig learned that he was for sale. While she didn’t expect to buy another company so early in her startup, she went through a meticulous process, and after months of research and crafting a deal, Quinley’s job to acquire the smaller company ended about two weeks ago.

The terms weren’t disclosed, but in this case, we’re not too upset. Why? Because what Quinley bought wasn’t a big business; By the time of the sale, Mi Padrino had reduced the number of employees to an insignificant level. And Queenly only retains Mi Padrino’s clothing-focused business, leaving everything else that came from the acquisition. (Recommendations from DJs and photographers are helpful, but they don’t fit in with what Queenly does.)

So what is really on sale? Brand, content and history, it seems. The Mi Padrino brand is better known in Latin American circles than Queenly, the latter company explained, and it has a content library that could help bring more customers to its new corporate parent company. Queenly is gaining deeper access to the larger formalwear market, Bantige said, potentially helping it sustain its growth momentum — most of Mi Padrino’s revenue came from the apparel business.

In addition to the deal, Queenly is working on the community side of its business, which it compared to Sephora, as well as a brand ambassador program for the upcoming school year. Finally co-founder and CTO Katy Zhou creates a reverse image search so that users can bring an image of a dress they like to Queenly, who can then help them find and buy it.

Clothing resale market big and growing. And despite some problems in Rent the Runway, this is clearly a place where technology will have a long-term home. Let’s see how fast Queenly can grow in the second half of 2022 and if it loses more capital.




Credit: techcrunch.com /

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