Rent the Runway, Inc., the company that created the world’s first living, sustainable closet by enabling women to rent versus buy their clothing, has selected Galway for its first-ever international technology office.
The project is supported by the Irish Government through IDA Ireland.
Recognising Ireland’s significant technology talent, Rent the Runway aims to hire 150 engineers and tech developers over the next three years. The prospective team, to be based in the historic Claddagh area of Galway city centre, will tackle core technology challenges that are critical to Rent the Runway’s overall success and will influence the future of the next generation of services.
The new international office in Galway will enable the company to expand its engineering and product development footprint and new Rent the Runway employees will have the opportunity to launch or grow their careers across a number of roles in software engineering and development.
The centre in Galway will be the first operation for Rent the Runway outside of the US. The privately owned company has five physical locations in the US, 11 million members, and 1,800 employees, 93% of whom are female, multiracial and/or minority. The company’s technology team is 45% female, and 80% of leaders at the company are women.
“We are thrilled to open our first-ever international office in Galway, where we’ve had overwhelming support from the Irish Government and the IDA. From the start, it was clear that Galway was the perfect location for our new office – the city has an atmosphere of creativity, mirrors Rent the Runway’s cultural values, and excitingly, will be the European Capital of Culture in 2020,” said Rent the Runway Chief Technology Officer, Josh Builder. “There’s an incredible opportunity to tap into the growing STEM talent in the region, and we’re eager to begin establishing our Irish footprint.”
Minister for Business, Enterprise & Innovation, Heather Humphreys TD welcomed today’s announcement, saying: “I am delighted to see Rent the Runway choose the West of Ireland to open their first ever international office and create 150 new high-tech jobs. Galway City will be a natural fit for this innovative, progressive and creative company. Ireland warmly welcomes new firms in niche, highly skilled areas and Rent the Runway will join a growing number of disruptive companies based here. I wish them well for the future.”
Rent the Runway, headquartered in New York City, was founded in 2009 by Jennifer Hyman and Jennifer Fleiss as an answer to the modern woman’s desire for constant newness by offering a rotating wardrobe that is also a smart, sustainable choice. RTR pioneered the ‘living closet’ and believes that women everywhere will soon have a subscription to fashion, making renting an indispensable utility. With its most engaged subscribers wearing rented clothing more than 120 days per year, Rent the Runway is changing the way women get dressed every day.
The team in Galway will be undertaking in-house software development unique to RTR as well as supporting US operations by working on existing technological activity supporting RTR’s mobile and desktop platform through which new and current users and subscribers access their services. The Irish teams will also be working on projects to expand and enable RTR’s unique fulfilment network, leverage data science to bring personalization and insight to all aspects of RTR’s systems, and experiment with new data driven applications. The team will work hand-in-hand with the US-based R&D teams.
Rent the Runway’s Galway office will be temporarily located at the Portershed. The company expects to relocate to a more permanent home late Summer 2019 at the newly-renovated Piscatorial School building, a prime waterfront location overlooking the Claddagh in Galway City Centre.
The company has built and operates the world’s largest technology powered dry-cleaning facility and reverse logistics operation, with sophisticated automation and a complex back-end system that powers the ecosystem of rental reservations, returns processing, order fulfillment, and the overall customer experience. All technology and logistics to power the operation is built in-house.
IDA Ireland CEO Martin Shanahan said: “This is an excellent investment by this leading, innovative company from the US East Coast. Galway, with its vibrant and growing technology ecosystem, is proving a most attractive location for investment and Rent the Runway choosing to locate its first-ever international technology office here will further enhance that reputation. It is also an endorsement of the confidence tech companies have in finding the right talent in the West. Rent the Runway will be a key reference seller for us in attracting further tech and consumer brand activity. This project from Rent the Runway is very much in line with IDA Ireland’s strategic objective to attract increased levels of investments to regional locations and the 150 jobs being created will be of substantial benefit to the economy of the city and West region. I wish RTR all the best as it begins this exciting new phase of its international development.”
In March, Rent the Runway announced its largest investment to-date, of $125 million, bringing the valuation of the company to $1 billion. The company has been recognized by CNBC as the 9th most disruptive company in the world and as one of Fast Company’s Most Innovative Companies.
For more information on the new roles, please visit Rent the Runway’s job posting site.
About Rent the Runway
Rent the Runway is transforming the way modern women get dressed and disrupting the $2.4 trillion global fashion industry by enabling women to rent, versus buy, clothing. Founded in 2009 with a vision to build the world’s first living closet, RTR believes that women everywhere will soon have a subscription to fashion. By creating a new model of dynamic ownership, RTR has made apparel rental an indispensable utility while also empowering women to feel their best every day. RTR carries apparel, accessories and home decor from over 600 designer partners and has built in-house proprietary technology and a one-of-a-kind reverse logistics operation.