Little Borrowed Dress has closed $1.25 million in seed funding. The investors included Index Ventures, a16z, Launch Capital, Neu Venture Capital and NYC Seed. According to the company, the capital infusion will be used for growth. Headquartered in New York City, Little Borrowed Dress is an online bridesmaid dress rental company.
After debuting a major web site redesign and expanded product line last week, Little Borrowed Dress, the leading online bridesmaid-dress rental company, today announced it raised $1.25 million in seed funding from Index Ventures, a16z and others, helping fuel its rapid growth.
Little Borrowed Dress rents a line of bridesmaid dresses that it designs and manufactures in New York City, where it is headquartered. Unlike typical bridesmaid dress retailers, which charge an average of $230 per dress before alteration costs, Little Borrowed Dress rents dresses online starting at just $50. Moreover, the company designs its garments so they fit and flatter all body shapes and sizes without alterations.
The company first launched its site in July 2012, and during the busy summer months of the 2013 wedding season over 80% of their inventory of thousands of dresses were out with customers at a time.
Joining Index Ventures and a16z as the company’s seed investors are Launch Capital, Neu Venture Capital, NYC Seed, Charles Smith, David Tisch (BoxGroup), Rett Wallace and Joanne Wilson.
The average American wedding has 4.5 bridesmaids, according to data cited by Little Borrowed Dress. With 2.1 million weddings per year in the U.S. alone, that equates to more than 9 million women spending a combined $2 billion annually. Eighty percent of the time, bridesmaids wear their dresses just once.
“The wedding tuxedo rental market is over a billion dollars a year,” said Corie Hardee, founder of Little Borrowed Dress. “There is no question bridesmaids overwhelmingly know they will never wear the dress again. So this market will happen, it’s only a matter of giving the consumer a good alternative. We’ve been surprised that the full spectrum of weddings, from simple to lavish, has embraced this concept.”
“Corie has re-imagined a critical part of the $40 billion-per-year U.S. wedding industry – outfitting bridesmaids,” said Terrence Rohan, principal at Index Ventures. “The wedding industry had been historically slow to innovate, but like nearly every sector over the last few years, it is starting to experience significant disruption from technology driven companies. We’re thrilled to partner with Corie and her team to help ensure that Little Borrowed Dress is a meaningful part of that disruption.”
Little Borrowed Dress introduced six new styles and five new color options last week, so its line now features a curated collection of twelve dress styles in eighteen colors. Customers can schedule “virtual fitting appointments” via Google hangouts, or can try on dresses in person if they like, either at the company’s permanent New York City showroom or at one of the trunk shows the company organizes in cities across the country. Little Borrowed Dress also sells its dresses outright through its site.
About Little Borrowed Dress
Little Borrowed Dress is an online wedding boutique which offers bridesmaids dresses for sale or rent, giving brides the choice of a designer-quality dress that all their bridesmaids can afford.
All our dresses are available in a variety of colors and designed with built-in adjustment points to flatter all figures.
Little Borrowed Dress also supports the Garment District by manufacturing everything locally in New York City.