Egyptian fashion rental startup La Reina banks six-figure funding

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Egyptian online fashion rental service La Reina has raised an undisclosed six-figure investment in a seed funding round it will use to expand its team and launch a new fashion subscription service.

Founded in 2016 by Ghada El-Tanawy and Amr Diab after they experienced their own problems getting hold of a bridal dress, La Reina allows women to rent their evening and bridal gowns to each other. It caters to women standing on either side of a demand and supply equation, with designer dresses as their meeting point.

The startup secured a US$1 million Series A funding round led by Algebra Ventures, Egypt’s largest venture capital fund, with participation from global VC fund 500 Startups, back in May 2018, and has now raised more money from the same two companies, plus a handful of angel investors.

La Reina, which has over 100,000 users, will use the undisclosed amount of funding to grow its team, and launch its fashion subscription service – The Box. Available on La Reina’s mobile app and website, The Box partners with renowned fashion brands such as Zara, Massimo Dutti, Mango and Stradivarius to provide the members with the newest collection to be used and returned within a week.

“We are proud to have such prominent investors backing us. They have supported some of the most disruptive companies in the region and are confident that La Reina has great potential as it forges along enhancing its offerings to become pioneers in the rental fashion space,” El-Tanawy said.

“We created The Box to offer practical shopping solutions for women who lead busy lives but are also keen on looking their absolute best every single day. We want our members to become versatile in how they dress up while also encouraging them to create a very minimal wardrobe. Such an approach stresses on the importance of fashion sustainability, The Box helps decreasing the fashion footprint by 85 per cent with each subscriber making it a game-changer that shapes the future of fashion and how we consume it.”

Sharif El-Badawi, managing partner for MENA at 500 Startups, said he had been impressed by how the La Reina team had pivoted its strategy to cope with the COVID-19 era and keep fashion clothing accessible to its customers. 

“We are excited to support La Reina as they continue expanding their product offerings and forge ahead as pioneers in this fashion rental space,” he said.

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Passionate about the vibrant tech startups scene in Africa, Tom can usually be found sniffing out the continent's most exciting new companies and entrepreneurs, funding rounds and any other developments within the growing ecosystem.

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