Armoire, the Seattle-based clothing rental service for women, is looking to add more clothes to what it calls “the closet of the future.” To do that, and much more, the 2-year-old startup has raised $3 million in new funding.
By offering an ever-changing selection of designer clothes online for a set monthly price, Armoire is designed for busy women who want to avoid the time-consuming hassle of shopping. Its algorithm, created in MIT’s Delta V accelerator program, learns about a woman’s clothing preferences and adjusts with each experience.
Co-founder and CEO Ambika Singh said the company has been thrilled by the market’s response, and while customers are nationwide, Seattle continues to be the largest market.
“As a community in Seattle we care a lot about sustainability and traditional apparel — the second most polluting industry on earth — is at odds with this,” Singh said. “Seattle women have embraced the opportunity to share clothing — even sometimes referencing the ability to ‘pay forward’ a powerful blazer or dress — to service the next amazing member.”
The new funding will allow Armoire to continue to grow, with a plan to invest in further developing the technology that enables the service’s predictive capabilities. The hope is to double the tech team over the next year.
Armoire also wants to invest in a full-fledged maternity and nursing line “to make good on their promise of servicing women at every step,” Singh said.
With a strong focus on women, including among its leadership positions and in its investors, Armoire is currently employs 26 people, 23 of whom are women. The company runs end-to-end operations — including a warehouse with 15,000 apparel items — out of the Riveter in Seattle’s Capitol Hill neighborhood.
“[We’re] thrilled and grateful to customers and investors to have the chance to create jobs for incredible teammates — from stylists, to technologists, to operations specialists who pick and pack hundreds of curated packages every day,” Singh said.
The funding round was supported by a number of Seattle investors. Notable retail veterans Darrell Cavens of Zulily and Vijay Talwar, president of Foot Locker digital and former CEO of Blue Nile, led the way.
A number of female investors are also involved, all of whom came aboard after beginning as customers. They include: Sheila Gulati of Tola; Dawn Lepore, formally of Drugstore.com; Angela Taylor of Efeste; Kristin Carrico of CDK Global; Berea and Ryan Schaffer of Expedia; Jesse Draper of Halogen VC; Yeganaeh and Nader Naini of Fraizer Investments; Emily and Jermey Ernst of The Boeing Co.; Pam Dickinson of Persephone Ventures; Noreen and Kabir Shahani of Amperity; and more.
The round is still open to investors and Singh stressed that the company is seeking funds from “investors who who are excited to be put to work on the company’s mission of bringing a much deserved dream closet to every busy woman.”