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Rent the Runway Gets $20 Million Infusion Led by Conde Nast

Rent the Runway Inc., a New York startup that lets customers rent designer fashion, received a $20 million investment led by Advance Publications Inc., the parent company of magazine publisher Conde Nast.

Bain Capital Ventures, Highland Capital Partners and Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers also provided financing, Rent the Runway said today in a statement.

The company was founded three years ago to bring a Netflix- style approach to fashion, letting women rent high-end gowns, shoes and purses through the mail. The latest funding will allow the company to improve its technology, helping customers find items that better match their tastes, President Jennifer Fleiss said in an interview. Rent the Runway also later may expand internationally and move into new product lines.

“We need more personalization for the site -- the styling elements and pairing things together -- and being able to handle the traffic,” Fleiss said. “We’ve been growing over 100 percent year over year in pretty much every category.”

Rent the Runway previously raised more than $31 million in venture capital. With the new investment, Conde Nast President Bob Sauerberg will join the board. The publishing company, owned by the family of billionaire Samuel Irving Newhouse Jr., owns magazines such as Vanity Fair, Vogue and Glamour. It also has made investments in other fashion startups, including Moda Operandi.

“They’ve always held a high premium on creating aspirational brands,” Fleiss said.

To contact the reporter on this story: Sarah Frier in New York at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Nick Turner at

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