Case | HBS Case Collection | November 2011 (Revised December 2012)

Rent the Runway

by Thomas R. Eisenmann and Laura Winig


Two months after a successful launch in November 2009, the cofounders of Rent the Runway (RTR), a website that rented designer dresses, are debating whether to grow their startup at a measured pace and focus on improving operational effectiveness, or raise a new round of venture capital sooner than originally planned. Raising more venture capital would allow RTR to aggressively expand its inventory and customer acquisition efforts, in order to serve a broader range of customer segments with a wider selection of products, (e.g., accessories, maternity wear).

Keywords: lean startup; electronic commerce; fashion; Expansion; Business Startups; Growth and Development Strategy; Fashion Industry;


Eisenmann, Thomas R., and Laura Winig. "Rent the Runway." Harvard Business School Case 812-077, November 2011. (Revised December 2012.)