The founders of Alibaba Jack Ma and Joe Tsai, has invested $20 million into the women’s clothing rental business Rent the Runway through their investment fund-Blue Pool Capital.
According to reports, Rent the Runway, with the new funds is now valued at a little less than $800 million.
Rent the Runway co-founder and CEO Jennifer Hyman said her company was not planning on raising new funding but saw this as a rare opportunity at an advantageous time in the business’ lifecycle.
“I have huge respect for Joe and Jack and wanted to opportunistically involve them in the business as we embark on our biggest growth stage,” Hyman told Recode in an interview. “Given the global aspirations that we have — especially in Asia — I thought they would be very good people to have around the table.”
Rent the Runway last raised funds in late 2016, when it secured a $60 million Series E investment led by Fidelity. That deal valued the company at $750 million. To get this new deal done with little fuss, Hyman allowed Blue Pool to invest the new money at the same terms as that Series E deal, she said.
Rent the Runway was founded in 2009 as a service that allowed women to rent designer dresses for special events at a fraction of the cost of the retail purchase price.