Boasting over 70,000 users, Japan’s fashion item rental service AirCloset snags $8M



See the original story in Japanese.

AirCloset is an outstanding startup in the Japanese fashion rental industry. Launched back in February of 2015, the company has been providing a subscription-based fashion item rental service for females under the same name. Its users combined surpasses 70,000 for now, which rapidly grew from 65,000 users in October of 2015.

AirCloset announced today that it has fundraised slightly less than 1 billion yen (about $8 million) from several companies. Participating investors in this round include Jafco (TSE:8595, investment firm), Nakazono Holdings (operator of “White Kyubin” laundry shop chain), Saison Ventures (investment arm of credit card company Credit Saison), and Terrada Warehouse. With funding from such major companies, AirCloset will strengthen its structure by securing the financial base and maximizing business synergies between the warehouse management and laundry service businesses.

Looking at what kind of synergies can be achieved with aforementioned investors, Terrada Warehouse, for examples, runs Minikura, a subscription-based box storage service which can be managed on the web. AirCloset partnered with the warehouse company slightly after launch, followed by securing funds from it in April of 2015. Going forward, the two companies will work together to streamline the logistics operations of accepting, storing, managing, and shipping items, aiming to provide customers with improved services. In partnership with Nakazono Holdings running 8,500 laundry shops nationwide in Japan, AirCloset will work on strengthening its service operations.

AirCloset was founded by Satoshi Amanuma, Yusuke Maekawa, and Shoichi Kotani 18 months ago. The service has attracted many users since its pre-registration launch in late October of 2014, steadily growing its user base. It delivers a new endeavor with a surprise to our daily lives upon enjoying fashion. Having powerful supporters onboard, we cannot but keep our eyes on how AirCloset will fare from now on.

Translated by Masaru Ikeda
Edited by “Tex” Pomeroy