Alibaba’s co-founders Jack Ma and Joe Tsai have invested $20m (£14.3m) into Rent the Runway via their investment firm Blue Pool Capital.
This latest cash injection from the Chinese etail giant has pumped up the value of the womenswear rental firm to nearly $800m (£573m).
Co-founder and chief executive Jennifer Hyman said the company had no plans to kick off an additional funding round. However, the business saw the investment from Ma and Tsai’s firm as a unique opportunity to supercharge Rent the Runway’s growth.
“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 said to Recode.
“Given the global aspirations that we have — especially in Asia — I thought they would be very good people to have around the table.”
The womenswear rental business, which was founded in 2009 and is profitable on an EBITDA basis, last raised funds in 2016.
However, Hyman told Recode that Blue Pool’s investment in the firm did not necessarily mean a full acquisition was on the horizon.
“The more visionary, smart people who you have relationships with, it just opens up your optionality,” Hyman said.
“It’s good for us whether we IPO, or we sell the business, or we stay private.”
Rent The Runway launched a subscription service in 2016 and Hyman said in January that offering a rental offer could reverse fashion’s flagging fortunes and make designer labels more accessible to millennial shoppers.