Blume Ventures bets on fashion rental startup Stage3

Fashion rental and styling platform Stage3 has raised $2 million (Rs 14.18 crore at current exchange rates) in a pre-Series A funding round led by early-stage venture capital firm Blume Ventures.

The Delhi-based startup said in a statement it will use the funds to enhance its brand and technological infrastructure, expand offline footprint and collaborate with celebrities, influencers and designers.

Stage3 co-founder and CEO Sabena Puri said the firm was looking to leverage millennials’ expectations of wanting to try different fashion experiences. “We want to help our customers to be on top of today’s fashion game without having to worry about high pricing, seasonality or storage woes,” Puri said.

Separately, Blume managing partner Karthik Reddy said the firm was confident in its investment because of Stage3’s ability to appeal to aspirational consumers, and its understanding of the rental economy.

Stage3, which is operated by Technicolour Dream Pants Pvt. Ltd, was founded by Sabena Puri and firm’s chief business officer Sanchit Baweja in 2016. The company aims to make fashion affordable, sustainable and more accessible to Indian consumers. It targets customers through a dual approach: Providing designer wear at a fraction of their retail price through a rental model, and selling collections through its own fashion brand (Alaya).

The company says it has over 100 designers and fashion enthusiasts, and a network of 25 celebrity stylists, 50 celebrities and more than 150 bloggers and influencers.

Blume Ventures

The homegrown VC firm was founded in 2010 by Karthik Reddy and Sanjay Nath. It has invested in more than 100 startups across its three funds, with a mostly sector-agnostic approach.

Some of the startups in its portfolio include healthcare technology platform HealthAssure, and commodity procurement platform Procol. It has also backed companies such as deep-technology startup Agara Labs and retail print chain Printo Document Services Pvt. Ltd.

In October last year, it marked the first close of its third fund at $40 million (around Rs 293 crore). Existing limited partners (LPs) as well as some new anchor investors from India, the United States, Japan and Asia contributed to the fund.

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