Men’s rental subscription service Taelor has raised $2.3 million in an over-subscribed pre-seed round of funding.
Venture capital firm Bling Capital led the round, which also had participation from Samantha Chien and her husband and Guitar Hero cofounder Kai Huang; former Morgan Stanley Taiwan managing director Sean Chao; Chicago Early, an angel group with members who are among the Northwestern University and University of Chicago alumni, and the cofounder of the Silicon Valley Chapter of Golden Seeds, an investment firm focused on female-led companies.
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The company will use the financing to open its service to customers on the wait list, as well as expand its offerings and operations and refine its styling algorithms.
“The future of menswear is access, not ownership,” said Taelor founder and chief executive officer Anya Cheng in a statement. “Taelor is like a launching pad for clothing brands. As a SAAS (software as a service) data company, we help them test products, find new customers and discover consumers’ true preferences.”
Cheng launched Taelor in March 2021, offering elevated everyday styles from brands like Brooks Brothers, Bonobos and Mizzen + Main, among others, and began its pilot service in summer 2021. Customers pay a flat monthly fee of $88 and receive up to two boxes of clothes a month, which includes four items in each box like dress shirts, jackets, polos and Henley shirts, among other items.
Taelor provides free dry cleaning and shipping and will add pants to the offering. In addition, they plan to work with corporations to offer its subscription service as gifts for new employees.
Prior to establishing Taelor, Cheng served as product lead at Meta and was instrumental in creating Facebook Shopping. She also held digital innovation leadership positions at eBay, Target, McDonald’s and Sears.
The funding comes as men’s rental services struggle. Two high-end menswear rental services — Seasons and The Rotation — both shuttered in 2022 after close to two years in business. While the aforementioned services’ selling points were the brands they offered, Taelor stresses the importance of data collection and sustainability.
Bling Capital founder Ben Ling, an early executive at Google and Meta who previously invested in companies such as Lyft, Instacart, Square, Airtable, Indiegogo and Everlane, said: “Taelor saves time and money for consumers, customizing the experience for each consumer through AI, with a thoughtful focus on sustainability and reuse.”