BENGALURU: We all are guilty of buying clothes we only wore once in our lives. Ever wanted to wear that beautiful gown but it was just too expensive?
Well, here is a startup that can help you out. Started in August 2014, LibeRent is an online fashion rental for women. One can borrow designer clothes for occasions and return it after use. “We give custom fit outfits, the users have to leave their measurements while placing the order and it will reach them in two days time,” says Sahyujyah Shrinivas, founder of LibeRent.
The startup was formed when Sahyujyah got the idea from a movie. It took her a year to get sufficient funds. “I raised funds from my relatives before the angel round,” she says.
Ravi Mantha and Sangeeta Kathiwada are the angel investors for the startup. “I was pitching in the event for this crowd funding network, Lead Angels when I met them,”Sahyujyah recalls.
LibeRent is a play on two words liberation and rent. With a single female founder, the startup faced a lot of difficulties along the way.
It even took Sahyujah a year and a half to find her co-founder, Abhishek More, who joined the team last year and is the technology head. “Right from being judged to the ‘casting couch’ scenarios, I’ve faced it all. But I’m in a better position to inspire others to join my team,” she avers.
It wasn’t always a bed of roses for the young entrepreneur though. “I had no money when I started. So I started by renting out all my clothes, got my friends to model and put up photos on Facebook,” she recalls.
Though she started by renting only those clothes - catering to women only of her size, she tied up with a few designers shortly and launched in Hyderabad.
Sahyujah had no contacts in the fashion industry and the only thing that kept her going was her passion. “Getting the designers to talk to me was a challenge. I visited every boutique in the city - some threw me out, some listened,” she smiles. With no invite and a rejected application, she fought and “conned” her way to Amazon Fashion Week in Delhi.
So how does she pick the clothes on her website? It started off by finding out what’s trending in Bollywood and sourcing the right materials. “Now we have more data, based on what our customers want and the industry trends,” she smiles. Besides designers in the city, LibeRent also has a very loyal customer base with a 95 percent repeat rate.
Based in Bengaluru, LibeRent’s servies extend to all major cities-Hyderabad, Chennai, Mumbai, Pune, Delhi. Deliveries are done within two days. One can also get multiple dresses for trial and choose any one, all at their doorstep.
What are the future endeavors of the startup? “We are increasing our inventory. We are also tying up with designers and building a platform for them. We’re soon launching our monthly subscription too.”