Thrilling, a Black- & Asian-owned secondhand marketplace, has announced that they’ve raised $8.5 million in a recent Series A funding round.
The Series A funding round closed in April 2021 and was led by Prelude Ventures and joined by Defy, Congruent Ventures, Urban Us, Closed Loop, Phoenix Rising, and DLA Piper Venture. The funds raised will be used to bring on key team members and further develop Thrilling’s core technology, which offers innovative tools to support small business owners and a personalized, uniquely enjoyable shopping experience.
The online marketplace, which is the latest company to join the growing trend of upcycling fashion, has a number of celebrity fans, including iconic costume designer Mona May and Zerina Akers, Beyoncé’s stylist and the owner/ CEO of Black-Owned Everything.
Thrilling has also partnered with Banana Republic to offer a limited-edition capsule that’s inclusive of vintage pieces as part of the brand’s BETTER REPUBLIC sustainability efforts.
The company was founded by Shilla-Kim Parker, who is still listed as the founder and CEO on the company’s Crunchbase profile.
A Harvard College and Harvard Business School graduate, Shilla started her career as an investment banking analyst at JPMorgan. Shilla then went on to lead the Strategy and Business Development group at Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, where she helped launch new business verticals including fashion, publishing, visual arts, food, and consulting. Immediately prior to Thrilling, she was an executive at Disney.
Kim-Parker said she founded Thrilling because she was driven by environmental concerns, and wanted to aid in the reduction of pollution in the fashion landscape. She is also passionate about helping local small businesses — which are majority-owned by women — survive in a fiercely competitive, digital-first world by reaching new consumers worldwide.
In a statement, the company confirmed that 95 percent of the shops and sellers on Thrilling are women and/or Black, Indigenous, and people of color.