Rent the Runway, an online destination for dress, accessory and bridesmaid dress rentals, has raised $15 million in venture capital from Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers (KPCB). At only eighteen months into business, the investment from KPCB signals the extremely fast growth of the online designer dress and accessory rental business.
Prior to KPCB’s $15 million investment, Rent the Runway received more than $16 million from Bain Capital Ventures and Highland Capital, including seed funding pre-launch from Bain Capital Ventures in early 2009.
Jennifer Hyman, Rent the Runway CEO and co-founder stated, “The success of KPCB’s past and existing portfolio companies is a sign of the incredible strength of their team who we are thrilled to work with.”
With the $15 million investment, Rent the Runway will scale from a transactional online business into an operational powerhouse. The company has begun to develop a sophisticated inventory and reservation management system with embedded predictive capabilities that to date has only existed for commodity goods such as cars and hotels.
Rent the Runway will also open the first of multiple warehouse hubs outside of New York City in January 2012. Additionally, the company will personalize the shopping experience using proprietary algorithms rivaling that of Netflix.