By Jessica Stillman (Editor, Women 2.0)
In November Rent the Runway, a startup that allows women to rent designer clothes rather than buy them, raised $20 million in funding with Condé Nast Publications, Bain Capital Ventures, Highland Capital Partners and Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers all participating in the round.
This week the company, founded by Jennifer Hyman and Jenny Fleiss, added $4.4 million to the kitty from new investor American Express and Novel TMT Ventures. “The funding will be used to hire key executives within the company, in addition to backing marketing and inventory investments,” according to TechCrunch, which notes the company is also looking into retail offerings where women can try before they rent, as well as pop up shops.
It may also portend an eventual move to go public reports Fashionista:
You may soon be able to buy a piece of Rent the Runway – even if you can’t actually buy a dress off the site.
According to WWD, who interviewed Rent the Runway cofounder and chief executive officer (and former Fashionista contributor!) Jennifer Hyman, the company is “likely” to go public sometime in the future.
This latest injection of cash raises the total amount the company has raised to an impressive $54 million. Congratulations to the founders.
Women 2.0 readers: Have you used Rent the Runway?
About the writer: Jessica Stillman is a freelance writer with interests in unconventional career paths, generational differences, and the future of work. She writes a daily column for Inc.com and has blogged for CBS MoneyWatch, GigaOM, and Brazen Careerist, among others. Follow her on Twitter at @entrylevelrebel.