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07/19/2021

Rent the Runway prepares to go public

Dan Berthiaume
Senior Editor, Technology
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Rent the Runway has confidentially submitted a draft registration statement for a proposed initial public offering (IPO) of its Class A common stock with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). 

The number of shares to be offered and the price range for the proposed offering have not yet been determined. The initial public offering is expected to take place after the SEC completes its review process, subject to market and other conditions.

Founded in 2009, Rent the Runway allows customers to subscribe, rent items a-la-carte, and shop resale from over 750 designer brands. Launched as a digitally native, online-only retailer, Rent the Runway later opened five physical locations, with one each in New York, Chicago, Boston, Washington, D.C., and San Francisco. 

The San Francisco store, opened in May 2019, was its most recent and largest location. However, in August 2020, the company told CNBC it would shut stores (which closed amid the pandemic) permanently in order to focus its investments on digital. It also will grow its network of drop-off boxes or kiosks where customers can return their rented items. 

In March 2019, the privately-owned company achieved “unicorn” valuation of $1 billion after obtaining a $125 million investment co-led by Franklin Templeton Investments and Bain Capital Ventures. At the time, Rent the Runway said the investment would enable acceleration of its operations in a number of areas, including scaling of its subscription business, broadening of its assortment and category offerings, and expanding its proprietary reverse logistics operations and technology.