Vinted CEO Thomas Plantenga has outlined his vision to make the fashion marketplace a future-focused company, rather than chasing short-term profitability.

In an interview with Sifted, a Financial Times-backed site that covers startups in Europe, Plantenga also addressed Vinted’s IPO plans, saying it was considering listing.

“When you’re at this stage, it’s something that you’re constantly looking at,” he told journalist Zosia Wanat. “We’re building this company in a way that it’s technically IPO-ready at this point in time. And we’ll just pick the moment that’s good for the company.”

However, he played down the significance of such moves. “It’s very important for me that within our company, we don’t talk about those things as big milestones — because they are not… I’m absolutely fanatic about the fact that setting those short-term things and financial milestones as goals is something that can be very harmful.”

But he acknowledged that this outlook must be squared with investors. “My job is to explain to them why these longer paths of building something bigger create a better return… In this capitalistic world, the one thing that you need to provide is return to investors,” said the CEO (LinkedIn profile).

He noted that profiting personally from taking the company public was not his priority. “If I wanted to make a lot of money out of this IPO for myself as a goal, I would run this business very, very differently: I would stop hiring people right now, I would maximize profits, I would show a beautiful profit curve that starts accelerating because we’re cutting costs, and then the profits will continue for the next three years, probably beautiful IPO, everybody gets rich,” said Plantenga.

“Then what’s the plan after these three years? Because you’re taking a lot of money out of the company, and you’re not setting it up for the future.”

The CEO said that building a sustainable company that contributes to the common good was his ambition. “The end game is that we build a tool that is constantly relevant for our society, and it does something very useful,” he told Sifted.

“We can build a business that will be a strong European tech company, that will be there for decades, that will pay tax nicely and that will be a useful force in society. That would be something I’m proud of.”

Strategically, Plantenga says that the company needs to covert more consumers to buying secondhand. “We should look at how many people in the country are not yet using us: why are they not using it? What can we build to make them use our platform and make the fashion industry more circular? What are the other gaps that are still there in shipping, in recycling, in repair, in whatever else there is?”

While other tech firms — including fellow fashion marketplaces Poshmark and The RealReal — have laid off staff, Vinted is expanding and hiring, and is “in the strongest financial position it’s ever been,” the CEO told Sifted. The company announced in April that it was opening a new office in Kaunas, Lithuania’s second-largest city, and was planning to hire over 30 tech workers.

Pushing its luxury offering, clamping down further on counterfeit items, and making the company and the wider fashion business greener are among Vinted’s other priorities outlined in the article.

Vinted says it has a workforce of over 1,500 and more than 80 million registered users in Europe and North America.

With offices in Vilnius, Berlin, Prague, Amsterdam, and Utrecht, it operates in 19 markets: Spain, France, Luxembourg, Belgium, the Netherlands, Germany, Austria, the Czech Republic, Poland, Lithuania, the U.K., Italy, Portugal, Slovakia, Hungary, Romania, Sweden, Canada and the U.S.

The marketplace was founded in 2008 by Milda Mitkute ​​and Justas Janauskas.

In May 2021, the company closed an all-equity investment round at a valuation of $4.5 billion U.S. Investors in the company include EQT, Accel, Burda Principal Investments, Insight Partners, Lightspeed Venture Partners and Sprints Capital.

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