Apparel rental startup Flyrobe gets seed funding from Sequoia, others

Online apparel rental startup Flyrobe has raised Rs11.3 crore (around $1.7 million) in seed funding led by Sequoia Capital, regulatory filings show.

Snapdeal founders Rohit Bansal and Kunal Bahl, and FreeCharge founders Sandeep Tandon and Kunal Shah also invested in this round, shows information available with VCCEdge, the data research platform of VCCircle Network, based on the company’s filings to the Registrar of Companies.

Zishaan Hayath, co-founder of Powai Lake Ventures, and Abhishek Jain, former associate director at Temasek Holdings Advisors India Pvt. Ltd, were the other investors, the filings show.

The deal was closed last year, according to VCCEdge, and an official announcement is expected to be made later this month.

When contacted, both the Sequoia spokesperson and the founder of Flyrobe, Shreya Mishra, declined to comment on the development.

Mumbai-based Flyrobe is an on-demand apparel rental platform that provides premium designer wear and branded outfitson rent. The nine-month-old company claims to have partnered with designer labels such as Outhouse, Masaba Gupta, Ritu Kumar and Shehla Khan.

Omapal Technologies Pvt. Ltd, which runs Flyrobe, was founded in September last year by IIT Bombay alumni Shreya Mishra, Pranay Surana and Tushar Saxena. Mishra was working as an analyst with Everstone Capital before starting Flyrobe. Surana has earlier worked as a senior analyst at Deutsche Bank while Saxena was earlier chief technology officer at Triptainment Technologies.

Recently, Mumbai-based Panoptic Solutions Pvt. Ltd, which operates online fashion rental platform Blinge, raised an undisclosed amount in its first round of funding led by Anupam Mittal, founder and CEO of People Group.

Players in the apparel sale and rental space have been going through challenging times recently. Recently, Bangalore-based online apparel rental platform Klozee, operated by Humble Egg Technologies Pvt. Ltd, closed operations. Also, ethnic products marketplace, Craftsvilla acqui-hired women clothing rental platform F2SO4.

Revamp My Closet, a portal that facilitated buying and selling of used clothes, accessories and bags for women, was also recently acqui-hired by Spoyl, another online platform for buying and selling fashion wear for women.

Others startups operating in this space include STAGE 3, LibeRent, Envoged and Zapyle. In December 2015, Delhi-based Technolour Dream Pants Pvt. Ltd, which operates STAGE 3, had secured angel funding from a bunch of investors, including former AOL executive Nisha Sharma, Dalmia Bharat Group’s Puneet Dalmia and Stanford University professor Balaji Prabhakar.

In August 2015, Envoged had raised seed funding from Nijhawan Group’s Ankush Nijhawan, Mediology Software director Manish Dhingra and AMG Investment’s Gaurav Bhatnagar. Former Canaan Partners’ MD Alok Mittal, Anant Goenka of Indian Express, Bollywood actor Jackky Bhagnani and Aspiring Minds CEO Himanshu Aggarwal also participated in the round.

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