- Fashion rental startup By Rotation just raised $3 million in seed funding from Redrice Ventures.
- The London-based startup has over 250,000 users and has partnered with Bumble and Caudalie.
- Check out the 13-slide pitch deck By Rotation used below.
A fashion rental startup that doubles as a social platform for its users just raised $3 million in seed funding.
London-based By Rotation, which was founded in 2019, enables users to rent designer clothes off one another up to a year in advance through an app. The company describes itself as the “Instagram of fashion renting” and has accrued over 250,000 active users to date.
By Rotation also holds in-person events and pop-up shops to connect users outside of the app, and has partnered with the likes of skincare brand Caudalie, vintage clothing site Natalie & Alanna, as well as dating app Bumble and shopping center chain Westfield.
Founder Eshita Kabra said there was a gap in the fashion rental e-commerce market, which was dominated by the likes of Depop and Vinted. Kabra said mainstream retailers “were less focused on the community and sustainability aspect of fashion rentals.”
The By Rotation CEO said companies in the sector, such as Rent the Runway and Flyrobe, were “very inventory heavy with centralized warehouses”, and “focused more on convenience and access to designer fashion.”
By Rotation doesn’t have a centralized stockroom, instead offering wardrobe to wardrobe exchanges between lenders and renters. Users are encouraged to send deliveries via post, and use the “positive savings calculator” before renting an item at check-out.
“Over 30% of transactions are through people meeting up, which is how so many friendships have been made through the app and it also encourages repeat rentals,” Kabra said.
The company takes a 15% commission from the lenders and renters each and has now hit six-figure revenues through its fashion rentals alone.
The round was led by London-based VC firm Redrice Ventures, which has previously invested in specialized fashion e-commerce startups Dai and Castore, with Closed Loop Partners, Bill Holroyd CBE, June Angelides MBE, and Cherry Ventures principal Dinika Mahtani participating, among others.
As an immigrant founder, Kabra found the experience of fundraising “difficult” due to a lack of access to networks.
“I’m someone random to a lot of people as I’m not from the UK,” she said. “If you look at a lot of the early-stage seed funding deals, there’s a lot of connections between them — and people don’t acknowledge it.
“I was told, ‘why don’t you have an ethnic wear business for South Asians’ — but I said I wanted to make a business for everyone.”
Check out the 13-slide pitch deck used below.