- Fashion rental startup By Rotation has 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 By Rotation’s 13-slide pitch deck used below.
A fashion rental startup that doubles as a social platform for its users has just raised $3 million in seed capital.
Founded in 2019, London-based company By Rotation allows users to rent designer clothes from each other up to a year in advance via an app. The company describes itself as the “Instagram of fashion rental” and has over 250,000 active users to date.
By Rotation also hosts in-person events and pop-up shops to connect users off-app, and has partnered with skincare brands like Caudalie, vintage clothing sites Natalie & Alanna, and dating app Bumble and mall chain Westfield.
Founder Eshita Kabra said there is a gap in the fashion rental e-commerce market, which is dominated by companies like Depop and Vinted. Kabra said mainstream retailers “are less focused on the community and sustainability aspect of fashion rentals.”
By Rotation’s CEO said companies in the industry like Rent the Runway and Flyrobe are “very inventory intensive with centralized warehouses” and “are more focused on convenience and access to designer fashion”.
By Rotation does not have a central warehouse, but offers the exchange of cloakroom to cloakroom between lenders and renters. Users are encouraged to mail deliveries and use the “Positive Savings Calculator” prior to checking out an item to checkout.
“Over 30% of transactions happen through meeting people, which is why so many friendships have been made through the app and also encourages repeat rentals,” Kabra said.
The company receives 15% commission each from the distributors and renters and has now achieved six-figure revenues from its fashion rentals alone.
The round was led by London-based VC firm Redrice Ventures, which has previously invested in specialist fashion e-commerce startups Dai and Castore, including Closed Loop Partners, Bill Holroyd CBE, June Angelides MBE and Cherry Ventures managing director Dinika Mahtani Others.
As an immigrant founder, Kabra found the fundraising experience “difficult” due to her lack of access to networks.
“For a lot of people I’m someone who is random 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 recognize it.
“I was told, ‘Why don’t you have an ethnic clothing store for South Asians’ — but I said I wanted to do a store for everyone.”
Check out the 13-slide pitch deck used below.