Rent the Runway is an online service that provides designer dress and accessory rentals. Rent the Runway was started by Jennifer Hyman and Jennifer Fleiss, who met at Harvard Business School and launched the company in November 2009. Initially a purely e-commerce company, it later opened brick-and-mortar retail locations in New York City, Chicago, Washington, D.C., Los Angeles and Las Vegas. Rent the Runway now offers over 100,000 dresses and 25,000 accessories from over 400 designer partners, including Badgley Mischka, Derek Lam, Jason Wu, Naeem Kahn and Giambattista Valli. In 2008, Hyman and Fleiss met as sectionmates at Harvard Business School. They regularly met up to discuss entrepreneurial ideas, one of which was Rent the Runway. Hyman thought of the idea after witnessing her sister spend thousands of dollars on a new designer dress to wear to a wedding, despite already owning several designer dresses, because she did not want to be seen in a dress she had already worn, especially after photos of her wearing those dresses had been posted to social media. Hyman and Fleiss knew the concept had the potential to contribute to the “access economy” along with companies like Netflix and Spotify, which favor access over ownership, and decided to test it out with consumers. They pitched the idea to designers and potential investors without writing a business plan, instead deciding that testing and iterating on their concept was more important than a formal plan. They launched www.renttherunway.com in November 2009. The company has received approximately $126 million in venture capital from Bain Capital Ventures, Highland Capital, Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, Condé Nast’s parent company Advance Publications, American Express, and Novel TMT Ventures. As of October 2016, Rent the Runway has over 6 million members, 975 employees, and over 400 designer partners.