Alibaba’s financial affiliate Ant Financial invested in another women’s apparel rental service MSPARIS for US$30 million Series B+, the fintech unicorn’s second similar deal in a short time span.
In September, Ant Financial invested in YCloset, a subscription-based clothing rental platform, marking its first foray into the clothing rental market.
The investments in the clothing rental area are just the first few steps Alibaba is taking towards a rosy sector. The e-commerce conglomerate now has different business units looking into opportunities in the rental area.
For instance, Ant Financial is partnering up with renters from different areas to set the stage for its Sesame Credit’s wide adoption. Xianyu (闲鱼), its second-hand marketplace launched its very own rental service in the middle of this year.
YCloset, upon receiving the investment from Ant Financial, told us that the online rental will make a presence on Xianyu, Taobao, and Alipay amongst other Alibaba subsidiaries and services.
WHAT IT MEANS
Ant Financial’s growing interests in the clothing rental vertical is an testament to the boost of China’s rental economy.
The development and maturing of the credit scoring system, such as Ant Financial’s Sesame Credit, laid the foundation for one important link in the rental economy value chain.
Rental services operator could use either Sesame or other credit scoring systems to evaluate a potential customer’s creditworthiness and trustworthiness, doing away with the traditional deposit. The convenience led to the boom of the rental business that sees applications in many verticals ranging from houses, cars, home appliances, luxury goods, to even mobile phone rentals.
Editor: Ben Jiang