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.
In the meantime, Hyman is focusing on growing the business with the help of a few new big-name investors. According to a press release sent out in November, the company received a hefty $20 million investment, led by Conde Nast parent company Advance Publications Inc at the end of last year.
Now, WWD is reporting that the company has raised an additional $4.4 million and names two new investors in addition to Advance: American Express and venture capitalist company Novel TMT Ventures. Past investors Bain Capital Ventures, Highland Capital Partners and Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers also contributed to this latest financing round, which brought Rent the Runway's total amount of money raised to $55.4 million. That's certainly nothing to sneeze at.
So, what will Rent the Runway do with the huge influx of cash? Plans include launching more physical showrooms where women can actually try on the dresses before renting (they currently have one), improving logistics and customer service, expanding to different categories and--yep--going public.
Safe to say this is one company to watch in 2013.