When we talk about clothes and fashion, all that comes to our mind is a range of options, a volley of choices. No matter how much we spend on latest, trendy dresses it always seems less and our urge to dress up nicely goes on. The more the options, the more we are driven towards buying them. But, somewhere or the other every top or shirt soon finds a substitute in our wardrobes. The same is the case with ethnic wear.
Realizing this issue of ‘what to wear’ on special occasions, three IIT Bombay graduates found a perfect solution to this problem. Shreya Mishra, Pranay Surana, and Tushar Saxena gripped the fact that people value experience more than ownership. If people had the option of renting special occasion apparels at nominal rates they wouldn’t spend a heap of money o buying them. They started with this teeny-weeny idea and made it a big name today. Flyrobe is remembered whenever people talk about rental fashion wear.
Launched in 2015 as an app, Flyrobe also came up with a website in September 2016. Flyrobe’s journey started with an opportunity that came in Shreya’s way. It was the time when she was working from AirBnB’s office, as a part of an entrepreneurship summit held at Stanford University. Idea of asset utilisation and rental economy caught her attention. She discussed this with her friends Pranay and Tushar. After some brainstorming, they came to the conclusion that it’s the party-wear apparels that are very rarely used and thus, aren’t worth spending such a huge amount. They surveyed the idea with over 200 women and over 80 percent women gave it a firm nod.
What began as a discussion among three friends is now a team of 30 people. Flyrobe has successfully built a strong brand recall value, thanks to its extremely competent team across verticals. Their staff have acquired experience from giants like Amazon, Google, Cadbury, Tinyowl etc.
In an interview with KenFolios, firm’s co-founder Tushar Saxena says, “There are 80 designers and more than 300 suppliers working for Flyrobe. “Every month almost five lakh people visit our website and 5 percent of them rent clothes from us. Now you do the math.”
Flyrobe has also partnered with designer labels like Outhouse, Masaba Gupta, Ritu Kumar, Shehla Khan, Armani, Hugo Boss, Boston Luxe, Mr Button etc, and is currently operational in Delhi and Mumbai. The company has raised Rs 35 crore funding from IDG Ventures, with the participation of Tokyo-based GREE Ventures, and existing investor Sequoia India. They plan to use this funding for expanding to five more cities including Hyderabad, Bangalore, as well as to strengthen its technology, product, and business teams.
Today, with a small team but with high ambitions, Flyrobe is giving a tough competition to the existing online rental and re-selling portals. The ultimate message that the journey of Flyrobe conveys is that a simple idea can be turned into a profit-making business, if presented smartly.