Fashion rental startup Rent It Bae to acquire IDG, Sequoia-backed Flyrobe
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AARK World Pvt. Ltd, a startup that operates fashion rental platform Rent It Bae, has acquired peer Flyrobe in a cash-and-stock deal, according to reports.

The Economic Times reported, citing a top executive, that the combined business is valued at Rs 60 crore ($8.4 million at current exchange rate).

As part of the transaction, the two firms will merge and operate under the Flyrobe brand name, according to the report. To leverage the acquisition, AARK World said it raised funds from existing investor GEMS Partners, which is a micro venture capital fund. It is also looking to raise a Series A round of $3 million.

VCCircle has reached out to Rent It Bae on the details of the acquisition and will update this report accordingly.

Rent It Bae chief executive and co-founder Aanchal Saini, who will now function as the head of the merged Flyrobe, said the new company is looking at partnering franchise stores in around 30 cities across the country.

The new firm will also increase its omnichannel presence and enter overseas markets, the report said.

Mumbai-based Flyrobe, operated by Omapal Technologies Pvt. Ltd, was founded in September 2015 by IIT-Bombay alumni Shreya Mishra, Pranay Surana and Tushar Saxena. The platform offers fashion wear for rent for both women and men. Rentals are categorised, and certain items can be bought from the platform as well.

In September last year, Flyrobe raised around $3.71 million (around Rs 26.06 crore) from IDG Ventures and Sequoia Capital, with the Tokyo-baed GREE Ventures also participated. Before that, the company raised capital in August 2016, securing $5.3 million (Rs 35 crore then) in its Series A round, which was led by IDG Ventures. Paytm founder Vijay Shekhar Sharma and Stanhope Capital chairman Leon Seynave also participated.

Rent It Bae says its premium rental service allows customers to customise their wardrobe without having to pay for whole sets of clothes. It offers several varieties of clothes and accessories from brands and luxury labels. Like Flyrobe, the platform caters to both men and women, according to its website.

Deals in the fashion segment

There have been several moves in the fashion startup segment in recent months from both investors and strategic players, as several groups look to stake a claim on the growing number of apparel- and brand-conscious consumers.

In August, Mukesh Ambani-led Reliance Industries Ltd acquired a majority stake in Shopsense Retail Technologies Pvt. Ltd, which runs fashion portal Fynd, for Rs 295.25 crore (around $41.9 million).

Similarly, in July, Aditya Birla Fashion and Retail Ltd (ABFRL), a unit of Aditya Birla Group, agreed to acquire a 51% stake in Finesse International Design Pvt. Ltd, which owns bespoke apparel brand Shantanu & Nikhil brand. At the time, ABFRL said it would acquire the stake for Rs 60 crore (around $8.75 million).

That month, House of Masaba, the luxury fashion label launched by celebrated designer Masaba Gupta, raised $1 million (around Rs 6.8 crore) in an angel round of funding led by Flipkart co-founder Binny Bansal.

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