NEW YORK — Rent the Runway, the online site for dress and accessories rentals, has raised $20 million in its third round of financing.
The latest round was led by Advance Publications Inc., the parent company of Condé Nast and Fairchild Fashion Media, parent of WWD. Other investors include Bain Capital Ventures, Highland Capital Partners and Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, each of whom has made prior investments in the company. Prior to the latest round of financing, the online rental destination site raised more than $31 million in venture capital funding.
The latest round comes at a time when there’s been some pullback on venture capital investing, particularly in the e-commerce space since it is sometimes considered an older established model when compared with the sexier application developments that are getting attention to capture mobile activity on smartphones and tablets.
Scott Friend, managing director at Bain Capital Ventures, the venture capital arm of Bain Capital, said, “When you look across a lot of the potential investments out there, Rent the Runway is the exception. It has a unique value proposition. Some that are good for consumers are not good for vendors and some that are good for vendors are not good for consumers. Rent the Runway markets to aspirational consumers who would not otherwise learn about some of the new brands [available at Rent the Runway].”
Robert Sauerberg, president of Condé Nast, said, “Our investment in Rent the Runway underscores our commitment to working with innovative, adaptive companies that serve the growing needs and desires of consumers. We are particularly focused on companies run by smart people with carefully managed businesses and talented teams.”
Jennifer Hyman, chief executive officer and cofounder of Rent the Runway, said the site, which has three million members between the ages of 15 to 35, rents for special occasions and often “discovers” brands that they’ve never heard of while on the site. Many try the brand, like it and then become shoppers of that brand, Hyman added. That’s the value proposition for its vendor partners.
Sauerberg is joining the Rent the Runway’s board, and Hyman said at some point they will “brainstorm a marketing program” that will allow the site access to Condé Nast readers and vice versa.
When the company did its $15 million venture capital round with Kleiner Perkins in May 2011, there were just 140 designer brands available on the site. Now that number is more than 200.
The vertically integrated operations for the firm, which launched in 2009, are in Secaucus, N.J., where the dry cleaning, tailoring, jewelry repair and pick, pack and ship is done.
@kering_official is spinning off its stake in puma in an effort to focus on its luxury brands, the brand operator announced yesterday. “We are proud to have supported the turnaround of Puma, which now has unrivaled capabilities to take full advantage of the specific dynamics of its global markets and is poised to achieve substantial growth,” said François-Henri Pinault, Kering’s chief executive officer and chairman. Artémis will become a “long-term strategic shareholder” of Puma with a 29 percent stake. #wwdnews #wwdfashion (📷: @jilliansollazzo)
The fashion world mourns for celebrated street style photographer, Nabile Quenum, who died at age 32 in Paris.
Quenum, creator of the fashion blog “J’ai Perdu Ma Veste,” was a fashion week fixture, and regularly shot for New York magazine’s The Cut, among other outlets, and brands such as Louis Vuitton, Moncler and Adidas. He was also actively involved in the #NoFreePhotos initiative, which kicked off in the fall. Read more about Quenum in @kbsmoke's story on WWD.com. #wwdnews
@verwanggang and @maisonladuree have teamed up on a dessert collab called Vera Wang Pour Ladurée. The collection, which launched this week, features a specialty macaroon, as well as a wedding cake inspired by one of the designer’s gowns. “I could not imagine a more delicate or sophisticated creation to grace any couple’s celebration,” said Wang. #wwdfashion
“I’m Russian and I love to use all these little tricks that I got from my grandma or my mom. We didn’t have a lot of money for creams or anything like that so we would use a garden as a beauty treatment regime. We’d put cucumber in the fridge and do a cucumber mask,” says model @irinashayk on one of her beauty hacks. WWD asked celebs what their go-to self-care rituals are. See what Naomie Harris, Freida Pinto and more said on WWD.com. #wwdeye #wwdbeauty (📷: @zefashioninsider)
Exclusive: @viktorandrolf are teaming up with @Zalando on a collection made from leftover clothing. The lineup, which lands at the retailer February 1, includes 17 pieces adorned with sliced up and repurposed overstock from the retailer’s private label collection. Pictured here is a look from the collection –– see more on WWD.com. #wwdfashion #wwdnews
@duewestnyc is the newest bar joining the collection of intimate neighborhood-focused spaces in the West Village. The cocktail menu, which includes bitters and syrups made in-house, offers a “Build Your Own Old-Fashioned” – like the one pictured here – where guests can choose from a list of spirits and unexpected sugars and bitters. #wwdeye
Spotted at last night’s National Board of Review gala in NYC: Angelina Jolie. Jolie – along with Meryl Streep, @lupitanyongo and more – continued the all-black dress code from Sunday’s Golden Globes. #wwdeye (📷: @lexieblacklock)