- Danielle Wightman-Stone |
Rent the Runway, the web start-up that lets women rent designer apparel and accessories at affordable prices, has raised 60 million dollars in venture capital.
Led by Technology Crossover Ventures, with participation from Bain Capital Ventures, Highland Capital Partners, and Advance Publications, Inc., the parent company of Condé Nast, the Series D funding brings the total investment in the company to 116 million dollars during its five-year life span.
The money will be used to “accelerate” the company’s impressive growth, according to the press statement, as well as to fund the expansion of its retail network with the opening of 15 retail locations in key markets and adding a West Coast distribution centre to speed up its operations for that portion of America.
The start-up opened its first brick-and-mortar store in Manhattan earlier this year after setting up a shop-in-shop in Henri Bendel, it also has stores in Washington D.C. and Las Vegas. It hasn’t announced where the retail locations will be, just that it wants to push forward with the expansion of its physical footprint.
Rent the Runway CEO and co-founder, Jennifer Hyman, said: "Rent the Runway is capping off an amazing 2014. We unveiled our new subscription service, Unlimited, which puts a woman's closet on rotation; we opened new retail stores in New York and Washington, D.C.; and we doubled our customer base.
"Our company is at the forefront of a global movement towards the access economy, and we're confident that partnering with TCV, the firm that has backed both Netflix and Spotify, will help us achieve our goal of inspiring every woman in the United States to have a subscription to fashion."
Rent the Runway secures funding to open more stores
Commenting on the investment, Daniel O'Keefe, general partner at TCV, added: "We are tremendously excited about the incredible momentum Rent the Runway is experiencing and believe that, with this investment, we can further accelerate the company's growth.
"Rent the Runway has given a whole new generation of women access to high-end fashion, and they are just getting started. We look forward to helping the company grow as it continues to create new ways to bring luxury experiences to customers everywhere."
As part of TCV’s investment, O’Keefe will be joining Rent the Runway’s board.
Rent the Runway launched in 2009 by championing a new kind of retail model where designer luxury can be experienced by renting not just owning, and has been called a “Netflix model for Haute Couture” by The New York Times. The website offers styles from more than 270 top designers, from the likes of Narciso Rodriguez, Moschino, Vera Wang, Red Valentino, Kate Spade and Temperley London. The site also now offers a new service ‘Unlimited’ where shoppers can rent designer pieces on rotation for a set fee per month.
Images: Rent the Runway