Online fashion rental platform Blinge, which is operated by Mumbai-based Panoptic Solutions Pvt. Ltd, has raised an undisclosed amount in its first round of funding led by Anupam Mittal, founder and CEO of People Group, a top company executive told VCCircle.
The funding round, which happened in October 2015, also saw participation from Livspace co-founder and CEO Anuj Srivastava and Ankit Nagori, who quit Flipkart as chief business officer in February, Blinge co-founder Shikhar Khanna said.
The startup was founded by IITians Shashwat Gopal, Pooja Dubey and Khanna in September 2015. Blinge is a rental platform that provides designer wear, branded outfits and accessories on rent. It follows a marketplace model and has a community of over 20 designers on its platform. The startup claims to be catering to over 1,000 customers.
Gopal is an alumnus of IIT Bombay and previously worked with Housing and Schlumberger. Khanna, who is an alumnus of IIT Delhi, also previously worked with Schlumberger. Dubey is an IIT Guwahati graduate and earlier worked with Google and PayPal.
"Blinge is creating a market that has a huge potential to disrupt the fashion industry in India," Khanna said.
Players in the apparel sale and rental space in the country have been going through a challenging period. Recently, Bangalore-based online apparel rental platform Klozee, operated by Humble Egg Technologies Pvt. Ltd, closed operations.
Last month, 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, FlyRobe, 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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