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Japanese startup Es Corporation, the company behind an online luxury handbag rental app called Laxus, announced on Tuesday that it has fundraised 300 million yen ($2.5 million) from Tokyo- and Silicon Valley-based investment fund WiL (World Innovation Lab). The company will use the funds for rental bag inventory fulfillment and customer acquisition, in addition to enhancing customer support with new hires.
Pre-launched back in late February this year, the Laxus app is about to hit 50,000 downloads shortly while more than 2,500 users are subscribed to the service, which exceeds the company’s initial goal for the first year. Users can use the service for free for the first month, but 89% of them are converted into paying users after their second month. The user retention rate has often exceeded 90% over the last eight months since launch.
Their variety of bags has now doubled to 2,000 items compared to 1,000 items back in February when the service began, dealing with bags from globally popular 36 luxury brands including Louis Vuitton, Gucci, Hermes, and Chanel. They now look to expand beyond into niche brands popular among fashionistas. The company recently added several features to the app, allowing users to submit their unneeded items for purchase as well as requesting additional items or brands they want to use.
Women are selective about clothes, shoes, and accessories but can’t get around to luxury bags. Laxus was started with the aim to help such women enjoy more fashion items. It will be interesting to see how the company can make the app a must-have for fashionistas by adding a series of features based on user voices.
Translated by Masaru Ikeda
Edited by “Tex” Pomeroy