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The Black Tux secures $2.6M in first funding round

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February 25
11:03 PM 2014

The Black Tux received $2.6 million in a bid to bring more affordable yet higher quality suit and tie to the rental tux market, TechCrunch reported.

Lerer Ventures, which has supported health and beauty retailers and eyeglass makers, led the first round of institutional funding for the startup. First Round Capital, RRE, Founder Collective, Crosscut, Menlo Ventures and Raine also joined the round for the Santa Monica, California-based tuxedo rental startup.

Lerer Ventures Managing Director and Thrillist Media Group Chief Executive Officer Ben Lerer told TechCrunch, "Of all the rounds I have led, there has never been one that has been more oversubscribed."

The Black Tux was founded by friends Andrew Blackmon and Patrick Coyne. Two years ago, Blackmon was trying to find the suits for his groomsmen to wear for his wedding day. They decided to go for rentals and found it a "terrible" experience. They researched the tuxedo rental industry and found that the suits did not fit well, were made using cheap material, were not branded and marketed well and were severely overpriced. After researching for a year and a half, the longtime buddies created Black Tux last year, the report said.

The company website revealed that rental prices for suit or a tux, together with shoes and accessories, are in the range of $95 to $160. They offer three tuxedo options and two selections for those not-so-formal occasions. The fit is based on the client's precise measurements or if this is not yet available, the customer can visit a local tailor to have these taken for him. A tutorial for the process is available on the website. An order gets to the client within the week it is placed. Shipping costs for deliveries and returns are shouldered by The Black Tux, the report said.

Coyne told TechCrunch, "We've worked with a number of designers and pattern makers for our first five styles. The idea is to launch [the clothes] under the Black Tux brand, because we're looking to build this brand, but that doesn't mean we wouldn't partner [with existing brands]."

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