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Rent the Runway Case

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Jessie Knight

on 21 October 2014

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Transcript of Rent the Runway Case

Using Prototypes to Build a Business
Rent designer dresses online
for a fraction of retail cost
"The goal of a start-up should be: launch as many things as possible, fail as quickly as possible, and then figure out how to move forward from there."
Initial Insights
"Netflix for dresses"
Q: Will women rent designer dresses if they are available at a fraction of retail cost?
Prototype: Buy retail dresses and offer them for rent to Harvard students.
Q: Will women rent dresses online, without seeing them in person?
Prototype: Email 1000 women in New York with photos of the dresses that say, "Call us if you want to rent this dress."
Validated the concept
Yes, women will rent dresses online, without first trying them on.
They will return them in good condition.
Learned about the consumer
Emotional connection - motivations are more than financial
"Cinderella moments"
Helped evolve the business efficiently
Able to present concept to VCs
$30 million in early stage funding
A: Yes!
35% of 140 viewers rented a dress
51 mailed it back in good condition
2 mailed it back with removable stains
Q: Will women rent these dresses if they cannot try them on first?
Prototype: Offer a wider selection of dresses for rent to Yale students, without trying on.
A: Yes!
Increase in rentals from 35-55%
A: Yes!
5% wanted to try the service.
Prototype: Beta Site
Launched simple beta version of site within a month
In 2 months:
100,000 site members
Shipped 1000+ order
$100,000 revenue
Over 4 million site members

250+ employees

275 designer partners

2014: $100 million projected revenue
RTR Business Model
Mobile Platform
RTR Unlimited
beta now
Uncertainty provides opportunities for innovation

Prototyping new ideas is the fastest, lowest-cost way to drive innovation

The most successful companies have a clear process for innovation
Full transcript