Online Tuxedo Rental Start-Up Lands $10M Investment

Photo courtesy of

Photo courtesy of

Step aside, Skeffington’s. It looks like The Black Tux is here to stay. Backed by a $10 million investment, the nearly two-year old start-up has found a niche by taking the “time-honored tradition of renting a tuxedo”, making it better (think slimmer fits and trendy styles) and putting it online.

Launched in 2011 by Andrew Blackmon and Patrick Coyne, who were inspired by Rent the Runway and brick-and-mortar stores alike, The Black Tux manages all of its logistics out of warehouse in Los Angeles and has seen double-digit sales growth every month. In fact, just last year, the company had a waiting list of over 30,000 during wedding season, according to an article in The New York Times.

Taking a page out of the playbook of many other fast-growing online retailers, The Black Tux gets its merchandise directly from the manufacturer which helps ensure a higher quality of goods. Through The Black Tux website, customers can order an entire outfit in minutes.

According to the founders, what sets The Black Tux apart from Rent the Runway is that “there is a lot less risk in their inventory” because tuxedos “are far less apt to change.” Despite all of its competitive advantages, what may have been most appealing to investors, however, is the potential market for tuxedo rentals which could be in the neighborhood of $3 billion, with “enormously profitable margins.”

With this new round of financing, the founders plan to “cut down on potential inventory shortages” and will look to grow the business and even expand their product line. Up to this point, the company has spent little on marketing and has relied heavily on word-of-mouth to grow the business. And land a handsome $10 million investment.

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