Stage3, India’s leading fashion-rental and styling platform bringing the largest selection of celebrity endorsed designer outfits and accessories to millennial India’s closets has raised USD 2 million in a Pre-Series A funding round. The funding round was led by Blume Ventures, and highlighted the strong interest of investors in India’s growing fashion rental market. Stage3 has successfully established itself as the leading purveyor of design-led glam wear for men and women in the affordable luxury category.

The current funds will be utilized to amplify the brand experience, boost its offline footprint and augment its data capabilities. Furthermore, Stage3 plans to collaborate with several prominent celebrities, influencers and designers within the coming year, adding to the extensive network it has already created.

Stage 3 has registered a strong revenue growth of 350% YoY and high engagement metrics, further reinforcing the investors’ decision. The company has consistently recorded high repeat rates and unit economics. Its asset light model with revenue share inventory is another advantage, accounting for 80% of its current inventory.

Founded in 2016, the company was envisioned to make glamorous fashion affordable, sustainable and, most importantly, easily accessible to Indian consumers. It targets today’s fashion-forward millennials via a two-pronged approach. First, by making expensive designer wear available to them at a fraction of the MRP through a rental business model. Second, it simultaneously sells capsule collections of “elevated basics” via its home-grown fashion brand “Alaya”, by leveraging collective purchase trends and data insights from customers. These curated collections perfectly straddle the line between exclusivity, style and cost, and are co-developed by designers and celebrity stylists.

Stage3’s proposition fits perfectly into the sharing economy ecosystem in India where fractional ownership is bridging the gap between aspiration and access. In a true case of buyer empowerment, Stage3 also lets its users list their own designer wear to be rented by others via the platform. All of the platform’s offerings are complemented by the company’s in-house stylists, who provide fashion and styling advice to users for free.

[caption id="attachment_136771" align="alignleft" width="262"] Sabena Puri[/caption]

Commenting on Stage3’s proposition, Sabena Puri, CEO and co-founder said that dress up is undergoing transformational changes with millennials interested in engaging in a variety of fashion experiences rather than a owning a closet full of clothes that they no longer have interest in or use of. Constant exposure to the best of designs and creations the world over, their desire to experience such fashion is high. Platforms that make accessing such products easier for the buyer have great potential for success. “Through our offerings, we want to bridge this gap and help our customers be on top of today’s fashion game without having to worry about high pricing, seasonality or storage woes”. At Stage3, we have proven that the sharing economy is going to change the way we consume fashion in India”.

[caption id="attachment_136772" align="alignleft" width="217"] Sanchit Baweja[/caption]

Commenting on the investment, Sanchit Baweja, CBO and co-founder added, “We are excited that Blume Ventures has extended their support to us to add to our strong ecosystem of investors and advisors, including Nisha Kumar, Ex-CFO, Rent the Runway and Anaita Adajania Shroff, Fashion Director, Vogue India. Our growth is going to be omni-channel and data-driven. We plan to invest heavily in enhancing our data capabilities as well as focus on building greater awareness amongst our target audiences about the rental model we are operating with.”

Speaking on the funding, Karthik Reddy, Managing Partner, Blume Ventures said, “We’ve known Stage3 and its founders for a few years now. We love their commitment to the model and its ability to take aspirational brands and designs from great designers and luxury wardrobes to a growing mass of aspirational consumers. Rental culture and recycling or reuse is here to stay as youth understand wastage more than the last generation or two. By providing choice, convenience and prices that special occasions demand in their lives, Stage3 is providing coolness with sustainability in the new India.”

About Stage3 –

Founded in 2016 by Sabena Puri, Sanchit Baweja and Rina Dhaka, the Delhi-based company focuses on providing today’s fashion-forward millennials affordable access to on-trend, glamorous fashion through rental and sales. Stage3’s unique, expansive ecosystem comprises 100+ designers, fashion enthusiasts and a network of relations with 25 celebrity stylists, 150+ leading bloggers, influencers and 50+ celebrities. The company’s board members are some of the biggest names in the business.

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