Backed By A16Z, Google Ventures And Others, Le Tote Is A Personalized Fashion Stylist For Everyday Wear


There are way too many instances when I purchase a clothing item, wear it once and then leave it neglected and relatively unworn in the back of my closet as I have moved on to the newer, shinier, trendier item. Le Tote, a new Y Combinator-backed startup, is launching to let shoppers like me have my cake and eat it, too. Le Tote is a fashion rental service for women’s apparel and accessories, but with a twist.

The startup differs slightly from models like Rent The Runway, in that it operates on a subscription model, and focuses on providing personalized clothing for everyday wear versus special occasions.

Here is how it works: customers fill out a style profile asking about style tastes in clothing and jewelry, sizing and more. Then a Le Tote stylist chooses three garments and two accessories personalized to the style of the customer that arrive via mail. The customer can keep the items as long as they like, wear them as much as they want, and can even purchase one or more of the items. Le Tote will provide a pre-paid box to return the clothes so all the customer has to do is drop the “tote” in the mail.

Once the items are returned, a new tote is chosen and mailed. This happens as often as the customer likes, at a cost of $49 per month, plus any costs for the clothes you keep.

Founders Rakesh Tondon and Brett Northart tell me that the clothing is priced moderately, with dresses around $50 and shirts priced at $30 (these items are discounted). Jewelry, scarves and belts cost from $10 to $30. While no cleaning or ironing is required for returned clothing, you can purchase an insurance plan that will cover any stains or tears on clothing. Additionally, you can browse through hundreds of clothing items and accessories on Le Tote’s site and add it to your closet to be sent in the next shipment, and also favorite the item so the startup’s stylists will put similar items in your totes. The more you interact with the site and the service, the more personalized your “Le Tote” will be.

Another point worth noting — Le Tote will clean all clothing, and polish jewelry and resend this to other customers (as long as the quality has remained), so you may not be receiving an item that is 100 percent brand new.

Le Tote launched its service nine months ago in private beta and already has more than 1,000 paying subsribers and a wait list of more than 18,000. The company sends out over 100 totes a day to customers in 48 states. The startup has raised an undisclosed amount of seed funding from Y Combinator, the YC-VC fund, 500 Startups, Andreessen Horowitz, Lerer Ventures, Google Ventures, and several angels.

Startups applying the subscription, e-commerce model have had their fair share of troubles over the past year, but Le Tote could be on to something interesting. Combining the rental aspect of the clothing, with styled picks is compelling enough that women may feel like they are getting a good deal on customized styling without the Bloomingdales or Neiman Marcus sticker price. Le Tote isn’t the only startup to try to tackle this space. JewelMint and RocksBox are also offering a similar model, but the services are both focused on jewelry.

le tote 2

le tote 1

More TechCrunch

When Jeffrey Wang posted to X asking if anyone wanted to go in on an order of fancy-but-affordable office nap pods, he didn’t expect the post to go viral.

With AI startups booming, nap pods and Silicon Valley hustle culture are back

A new crop of early-stage startups — along with some recent VC investments — illustrates a niche emerging in the autonomous vehicle technology sector. Unlike the companies bringing robotaxis to…

VCs and the military are fueling self-driving startups that don’t need roads

When the founders of Sagetap, Sahil Khanna and Kevin Hughes, started working at early-stage enterprise software startups, they were surprised to find that the companies they worked at were trying…

Deal Dive: Sagetap looks to bring enterprise software sales into the 21st century

Keeping up with an industry as fast-moving as AI is a tall order. So until an AI can do it for you, here’s a handy roundup of recent stories in the world…

This Week in AI: OpenAI moves away from safety

After Apple loosened its App Store guidelines to permit game emulators, the retro game emulator Delta — an app 10 years in the making — hit the top of the…

Adobe comes after indie game emulator Delta for copying its logo

Meta is once again taking on its competitors by developing a feature that borrows concepts from others — in this case, BeReal and Snapchat. The company is developing a feature…

Meta’s latest experiment borrows from BeReal’s and Snapchat’s core ideas

Welcome to Startups Weekly! We’ve been drowning in AI news this week, with Google’s I/O setting the pace. And Elon Musk rages against the machine.

Startups Weekly: It’s the dawning of the age of AI — plus,  Musk is raging against the machine

IndieBio’s Bay Area incubator is about to debut its 15th cohort of biotech startups. We took special note of a few, which were making some major, bordering on ludicrous, claims…

IndieBio’s SF incubator lineup is making some wild biotech promises

YouTube TV has announced that its multiview feature for watching four streams at once is now available on Android phones and tablets. The Android launch comes two months after YouTube…

YouTube TV’s ‘multiview’ feature is now available on Android phones and tablets

Featured Article

Two Santa Cruz students uncover security bug that could let millions do their laundry for free

CSC ServiceWorks provides laundry machines to thousands of residential homes and universities, but the company ignored requests to fix a security bug.

1 day ago
Two Santa Cruz students uncover security bug that could let millions do their laundry for free

OpenAI’s Superalignment team, responsible for developing ways to govern and steer “superintelligent” AI systems, was promised 20% of the company’s compute resources, according to a person from that team. But…

OpenAI created a team to control ‘superintelligent’ AI — then let it wither, source says

TechCrunch Disrupt 2024 is just around the corner, and the buzz is palpable. But what if we told you there’s a chance for you to not just attend, but also…

Harness the TechCrunch Effect: Host a Side Event at Disrupt 2024

Decks are all about telling a compelling story and Goodcarbon does a good job on that front. But there’s important information missing too.

Pitch Deck Teardown: Goodcarbon’s $5.5M seed deck

Slack is making it difficult for its customers if they want the company to stop using its data for model training.

Slack under attack over sneaky AI training policy

A Texas-based company that provides health insurance and benefit plans disclosed a data breach affecting almost 2.5 million people, some of whom had their Social Security number stolen. WebTPA said…

Healthcare company WebTPA discloses breach affecting 2.5 million people

Featured Article

Microsoft dodges UK antitrust scrutiny over its Mistral AI stake

Microsoft won’t be facing antitrust scrutiny in the U.K. over its recent investment into French AI startup Mistral AI.

1 day ago
Microsoft dodges UK antitrust scrutiny over its Mistral AI stake

Ember has partnered with HSBC in the U.K. so that the bank’s business customers can access Ember’s services from their online accounts.

Embedded finance is still trendy as accounting automation startup Ember partners with HSBC UK

Kudos uses AI to figure out consumer spending habits so it can then provide more personalized financial advice, like maximizing rewards and utilizing credit effectively.

Kudos lands $10M for an AI smart wallet that picks the best credit card for purchases

The EU’s warning comes after Microsoft failed to respond to a legally binding request for information that focused on its generative AI tools.

EU warns Microsoft it could be fined billions over missing GenAI risk info

The prospects for troubled banking-as-a-service startup Synapse have gone from bad to worse this week after a United States Trustee filed an emergency motion on Wednesday.  The trustee is asking…

A US Trustee wants troubled fintech Synapse to be liquidated via Chapter 7 bankruptcy, cites ‘gross mismanagement’

U.K.-based Seraphim Space is spinning up its 13th accelerator program, with nine participating companies working on a range of tech from propulsion to in-space manufacturing and space situational awareness. The…

Seraphim’s latest space accelerator welcomes nine companies

OpenAI has reached a deal with Reddit to use the social news site’s data for training AI models. In a blog post on OpenAI’s press relations site, the company said…

OpenAI inks deal to train AI on Reddit data

X users will now be able to discover posts from new Communities that are trending directly from an Explore tab within the section.

X pushes more users to Communities

For Mark Zuckerberg’s 40th birthday, his wife got him a photoshoot. Zuckerberg gives the camera a sly smile as he sits amid a carefully crafted re-creation of his childhood bedroom.…

Mark Zuckerberg’s makeover: Midlife crisis or carefully crafted rebrand?

Strava announced a slew of features, including AI to weed out leaderboard cheats, a new ‘family’ subscription plan, dark mode and more.

Strava taps AI to weed out leaderboard cheats, unveils ‘family’ plan, dark mode and more

We all fall down sometimes. Astronauts are no exception. You need to be in peak physical condition for space travel, but bulky space suits and lower gravity levels can be…

Astronauts fall over. Robotic limbs can help them back up.

Microsoft will launch its custom Cobalt 100 chips to customers as a public preview at its Build conference next week, TechCrunch has learned. In an analyst briefing ahead of Build,…

Microsoft’s custom Cobalt chips will come to Azure next week

What a wild week for transportation news! It was a smorgasbord of news that seemed to touch every sector and theme in transportation.

Tesla keeps cutting jobs and the feds probe Waymo

Sony Music Group has sent letters to more than 700 tech companies and music streaming services to warn them not to use its music to train AI without explicit permission.…

Sony Music warns tech companies over ‘unauthorized’ use of its content to train AI

Winston Chi, Butter’s founder and CEO, told TechCrunch that “most parties, including our investors and us, are making money” from the exit.

GrubMarket buys Butter to give its food distribution tech an AI boost