Reporters reflected on a model's sunglasses at a fashion show in Jakarta in May. (JG Photo/Yudha Baskoro)

Rent-a-Fashion: Style Theory Gets Backing From SoftBank for Southeast Asian Expansion


JANUARY 14, 2020

Jakarta. Fashion rental platform Style Theory has received $15 million in fresh funding from a group of investors led by SoftBank Ventures Asia, the early-stage venture arm of Japanese investor Masayoshi Son's SoftBank Group, to make inroads into the Southeast Asian market.

Alpha JWC Ventures and the Paradise Group are also involved in the Series B funding. Style Theory said the company would use the money to improve the quality and expand the inventory of its platform, with a focus on developing its business model in Southeast Asia. 

SoftBank Ventures Asia's managing director Sean Lee said Style Theory's unique business model was one of the reasons behind the decision to provide the funding.

"Fashion has become one of the most important aspects in the sharing economy culture. With its unique business model, Style Theory has shown how a company can change the way fashion is consumed," Lee said in a statement last week.

Jefrey Joe, the managing partner of Alpha JWC Ventures, backed Lee's enthusiasm, saying Style Theory has the right foundation as a company and the potential to continue growing.

"With good products, technology and focus on operations, Style Theory is a platform with huge potentials to answer a growing market demand," Joe said.

Launched in 2016, Singapore-based Style Theory entered the Indonesian market at the end of 2017. It offers clothing rental services from more than 50,000 collections by various designers on a mobile app.

With more than 200,000 users, Style Theory offers several rental options, including an "unlimited" service where customers can rent an unlimited number of outfits by paying a monthly subscription.

Style Theory was founded by Raena Lim and Chris Halim to be a solution for affordable and sustainable fashion – an alternative to fast-fashion from high street brands like Zara and H&M.