Pickle Raises $8M to Make Your Neighbors’ Closet (and Yours) Easy to Rent
Announcing our seed funding round, co-led by Craft Ventures and FirstMark Capital with participation from Burst Capital, to grow and enhance Pickle’s peer-to-peer rental marketplace.
Two years ago, we left our jobs to take a big risk. We wanted to help people (including us) make better shopping decisions. We launched the initial version of Pickle (we refer to it as Pickle 1.0) to crowdsource opinions on each other’s purchases. A major theme kept surfacing: most people were recommending items already in their closet; “this is my favorite dress, I just wore it to my friend’s wedding,” or “this brand is my go-to because it’s flattering on everyone.”
The lightbulb went off. We needed to connect a community of shareable closets and do it in a way that was as dynamic and easy as borrowing from a friend — even if it meant you needed it in an hour. So we learned how to code, building the experience and functionality we knew people wanted, took 4,000+ subway rides hand-delivering items from closets across NYC, and wore many other hats to relaunch Pickle as the fashion rental marketplace it is today.
We’re incredibly proud and grateful; in the past year, we’ve grown our community to tens of thousands, brought 50,000+ items from 2,000+ coveted brands into circulation, powered lucrative side hustles, and introduced a new way to shop at a time when so many of us are grappling with the financial and environmental costs of keeping pace with microtrends, dressing for more occasions, and showcasing our lives (and what we wear) regularly on social media.
What we built — the brand love, the growth, the solution — caught the attention of marketplace luminaries who were eager to help us advance our mission/vision of making it easy, fun, affordable and accessible to rent items from one another.
Fast forward, and we couldn’t be more excited to announce an $8 million capital investment co-led by Craft Ventures and FirstMark Capital, with participation from Burst Capital. The expertise and support of the team behind us, including our new board member Rick Heitzmann (founder FirstMark Capital), Jeff Fluhr (founder Craft Ventures and former founder/CEO of StubHub), and Geoff Donaker (founder Burst Capital and former Yelp COO), will be instrumental in helping us grow and deliver even more value to our community.
What does this mean for our community?
In short, the new capital and support from an incredibly talented group translates to growth, and that’s a great thing. What’s next?
1. Improving the Pickle Experience. We’re making the renting and listing even more seamless, enjoyable, and valuable, and we’re actively bringing on more rockstar engineers and product experts to do it. We’ll be focused on:
- Product Discovery: We want it to be as easy as possible to find exactly what you’re looking to wear. We will be enhancing the discovery process through improved collection curation, personalized AI-generated recommendations, and smarter search.
- Product Variety: Increasing the selection of Pickle items across inclusive sizes and styles is an essential initiative. Our partners in the Pickle Partner program (more below) will help increase the volume of new, trendy, and diverse pieces across all styles and sizes. They will also voice when a certain size or style is low in supply on Pickle.
- Delivery: A seamless exchange is what makes Pickle feel like a true extension of your closet. Additional insight into pick up times and additional proof of delivery methods will improve the overall delivery process and ensure items are safely transferred.
- Closet Management Tools: We want our owners to better understand the success of their closets and therefore gain insight on ways to improve their side hustle. Some of the tools we are building for owners include access to rental and product statistics, bulk updating functionality, and improved promotion of their items to renters.
2. Expanding and empowering our community. We want to harness and spread the Pickle brand love by reaching more people in more cities and giving our community more touch points to connect and share. A bigger, even more engaged community also means more high-quality items to shop and more people shopping your closets. We’ll be focused on our:
- Pickle Partner Program: We are building this program to partner directly with our users who know their communities best. This will result in more eclectic closets to shop as well as unique and rare pieces to rent! Our partners will be the eyes and ears for the trends in the market and bring those directly to Pickle closets.
- Events: If you attended Pickle’s First Birthday Party, there’s more where that came from! We plan to host and sponsor several community events each quarter so that community members can meet, compare Pickle closets, and brag about their latest rental find. We know events are a huge use case for rentals so we will also be offering curated collections to easily shop these special occasions (stay tuned for Halloween)!
- New store: We’re bringing our online brand to life in the physical form so that people can connect, shop, and merchandise their closets IRL. More to come from us soon!
- New cities: We continue seeing more and more demand come from other cities (like LA, Miami, Chicago, and more) wanting to access local high quality pieces that can get delivered to their door, just like in NYC. We’re growing local teams and our Pickle Partner Program to connect more closets on demand and do it faster.
It’s a big day for us! Thank you all for being such an important part of the Pickle community and this milestone, and joining us on this exciting journey. We’re excited for this next chapter of making Pickle a more valuable, enjoyable, and convenient solution. And a friendly reminder that we love feedback and ideas. Please don’t hesitate to send them our way through our Support Center!
Stay tuned for more updates and exciting new features coming your way!
Brian & Julia
P.S. If you’re interested in joining the Pickle team, please check out our job board here.
P.P.S. If you’d like to apply to the Pickle Partner program please email firstname.lastname@example.org :)