Innovation

Rent the Runway is Officially Valued at $1 Billion

Rent the Runway is officially a $1 billion company.

The subscription company co-founded by two women is officially a unicorn. After landing a $125 million investment, Rent the Runways (RTR) is now valued at $1 billion.

The company was founded in 2009 by Jennifer Hyman and Jennifer Fleiss. The Harvard Business School classmates wanted to create a “closet in the cloud” to give shoppers rentable clothing options that keep wardrobes fresh.

Initially, RTR offered formal apparel, but has since expanded inventory with casual, athletic, and work styles. It’s Update and Unlimited programs cost between $89 and $159 per month.

Rent the Runway says its focus on providing women with a rotating, rentable closet helps instill confidence and promote freedom of expression. Its success has also coincided with larger economic trends. A 2016 study found that e-commerce is rising—63% of millennials shop on their smartphones.

Jennifer Fleiss left RTR in 2017 after is surpassed a $100 million profit, but she remains on the company’s board. Now she focuses primarily on Jetblack, a shopping service for moms.

Along with clothing, RTR began renting out home décor in March 2019. It plans to invest in more teach to create a community online for its subscribers.