Investors Sink $60M into Rent the Runway

MajorsDec 29, 2016

Investors Sink $60M into Rent the Runway

The company said it will use some of the money to expand its retail footprint.

Rent the Runway just received another round of funding and said it will use the money in part to invest in retail stores. The company recently opened a flagship location in New York City that is three times bigger than its original New York store.

New York--Rent the Runway, the company that specializes in renting out dresses and jewelry for special occasions, announced that it has a secured a $60 million round of funding led by Fidelity Management and Research Company.

In a news release issued Tuesday, the New York-based company said that total investment now stands at $190 million, with participation in this latest round of funding also coming from existing investors Technology Crossover Ventures, Bain Capital Ventures, Highland Capital Partners and Advance Publications Inc.

Boston-based Bain is no stranger to the jewelry industry, as Bain Capital Private Equity is one of the companies that is buying and taking private online jewelry retailer Blue Nile, while Advance Publications owns the company that will be taking over publication of JCK magazine and come Jan. 1.

Rent the Runway said it will use the new round of funding to invest in its original product--renting out singular dresses and accessories for special occasions--while also sinking money into operations and its subscription business, Unlimited.

The subscription business, which launched this past spring, gives customers access to $40,000 worth of designer clothing in one year for a fixed monthly price.

Rent the Runway also said it plans to use the money to open more stores. It already has stores in six cities, including its recently opened 5,000-square-foot flagship in New York and its new shop-in-shop in Neiman Marcus’ San Francisco store.

“We’re coming off our most successful years since the company’s inception, with the launch of our Unlimited subscription business, our partnership with Neiman Marcus and our new flagship store in New York,” said co-founder and CEO Jennifer Hyman.

“We are excited to bring Fidelity as a partner as we continue to disrupt the closet and remain at the forefront of the access economy,” she said, referencing the term that has come to replace sharing economy in reference to businesses like Rent the Runway and Zipcar where goods and services are traded on the basis of access instead of ownership.
Michelle Graffis the editor-in-chief at National Jeweler, directing the publication’s coverage both online and in print.

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