CHENNAI: We all are guilty of buying clothes we only wear once in life. 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. You can borrow designer clothes for occasions and return it after your use. “We give custom fi t outfi ts too; users can leave their measurements while placing the order and it will reach them in two days,” says Sahyujyah Srinivas, founder of LibeRent. The startup was formed when Sahyujyah got the idea from a movie. It took her one year to get suffi cient funds.
“I raised funds from my uncles and aunties for the startup before looking for angel investors.” 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,” she smiles. LibeRent is a play on two words — liberation and rent. With a single woman founder, the startup faced a lot of diffi - culties all the way. It even took Sahyujah one-and-a-half years to fi nd 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 took all my clothes, got my friends to model and put up photos on Facebook,” she remembers. She started renting those — catering to women only of her size, tied up with a few designers and launched in Hyderabad. Sahyujah had no contacts in the fashion industry and the only thing that kept her running was her passion. “Getting designers to talk 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 fi nding 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. They are not limited by designers in the city, and have loyal customers with a 95% repeat rate. Based in Bengaluru, LibeRent’s services cover all major cities — Hyderabad, Chennai, Mumbai, Pune, and Delhi. Deliveries are done in two days. One can also get dresses for trial and choose any one, all at their doorstep. Their future plans for the startup? “We are increasing our inventory, getting deep in to the cities we are in. We are also teaming up with designers and building a platform for them. We’re soon launching our monthly subscription.” For details visit: liberent.com