Feather Raises Another 12M to Expand its Furniture Rental Service

first_imgFeather Raises Another $12M to Expand its Furniture Rental ServiceMay 15, 2019 by AlleyWatch 313SHARESFacebookTwitterLinkedin Just because you found your next dream home, doesn’t mean that your old couch has to make the move with you. Furniture subscription startup Feather, which launched in 2017, declutters peoples’ lives through its flexible model that gives people access to high-quality furniture at a low monthly price. Customers can buy, add, swap, or return furniture when they need, ensuring that your decor matches your current living circumstances.  All orders on Feather are delivered within a week and assembled entirely for free.  The company is expanding its footprint to serve additional markets on both coasts.AlleyWatch sat down with founder and CEO Jay Reno to learn more about the company’s start, future plans, and most recent round of funding, which brings its total funding to $16M across three rounds.Who were your investors and how much did you raise? Feather recently completed a $12M Series A that was led by Spark Capital, with Kevin Thau joining the board. We are also funded by world-class investors, including Kleiner Perkins, Bain Capital Ventures, Y Combinator, PJC, Fuel Capital and Scott Belsky, among many others.Tell us about the product or service that Feather offers.Feather is a furniture subscription service that offers a flexible and sustainable alternative to ownership. Feather makes it easy for city dwellers to furnish their homes without spending a fortune or hurting the planet in the process.Members of Feather have access to high-quality furniture at a low monthly price with the option to add, swap, buy, or return when life or tastes change. Furniture is delivered and assembled for free within a week.Feather’s circular approach reduces the environmental impact that furniture waste has on our planet by keeping furniture in homes and out of landfills. Feather currently serves New York City, San Francisco, Los Angeles, and Orange County.Do you have plans to expand geographically beyond NYC and SF?Yes! This week we are expanding to Los Angeles and Orange County and will begin delivery in these markets on May 20th.What inspired you to start Feather?I’ve lived in New York for 8 years, and have lived in 6 different apartments. In the midst of all of these moves, I’ve been faced with the recurring struggle of what to do with furniture that I’ve invested in when it doesn’t physically or stylistically fit the layout of my next space. After the first few moves, I finally realized this wasn’t just a personal problem.The underlying truth is that the American Dream has changed. Many of us no longer strive to own homes or cars or that proverbial white picket fence. Instead, we value experiences over things, and we’re drawn to customized, on-demand services that give us access to items without bearing the burden of ownership.But no positive alternatives existed to do this for furniture. I knew there had to be a way that allowed people to change their lives more easily without sacrificing quality and comfort or hurting the planet in the process. With this in mind, I set out to create a solution which ultimately became Feather.How is Feather different?Feather is different from other furniture providers for key reasons including are our owned logistics, which powers our world-class customer experience, and our flexible membership model.Our customers invite us into their home during the delivery and assembly process and we take that very seriously. We have long term relationships with our customers that are managed by a dedicated member of our customer experience team. Also, our teams on the ground are deeply knowledgeable about Feather’s product, our process, and are ultimately our biggest brand ambassadors. We have direct lines of communication with delivery teams during the day so that our central operations and customer experience teams are always aware of each delivery’s status without having to rely on a third party to relay information.In order to make our experience seamless, we’ve built proprietary technology that powers our reverse logistics. It is the engine behind the scenes that makes this experience feel effortless to our customers. We are not only deploying our inventory, but also receiving it, refurbishing, and redeploying on a daily basis. There is no existing technology in the market to make that happen to our standards.Another key differentiator is our flexible model. We offer an annual membership for $19/month, which provides full flexibility to change your furniture when your life or tastes change.  Feather members can easily add, swap, buy, or return items during their membership.What market does Feather target and how big is it?The furniture and home furnishing industry is a $275B business annually.Our customers are primarily between the life moments of college and purchasing their first home (18-35 yrs old), are renting their apartments, and moving every 1-2 years. A large portion of our customers care a lot about style and design and prefer to have quality items that work with their space and aesthetic.What’s your business model?People are moving more than ever – on average millennials move 12 times before buying a home. Owning furniture doesn’t always make sense. While consumers are craving more flexible options when it comes to their furniture, we’ve found that they don’t want to give up quality and design – and they shouldn’t have to.That’s why we created our furniture membership. By becoming a Feather member and subscribing to your furniture, you’re able to furnish your space with quality items that are well designed while maintaining the flexibility to swap, return, or buy your items when life changes.Our membership is an annual commitment for $19/month + low monthly subscription price for each item of furniture. Membership comes with service benefits such as delivery and assembly within 7 days, a dedicated member of our customer experience team to coordinate all of the details and one change per year.What was the funding process like?We have been fortunate enough to have an incredibly positive funding experience thus far. The response we get when we share our vision for Feather with investors is, “this makes sense, I wish this existed last time I bought furniture. I don’t even know how much time and money I would have saved.”What are the biggest challenges that you faced while raising capital?As anyone building an idea from scratch knows, time is your best and scarcest asset. Feather has grown out of a very lean model to keep costs low. As such, our team has had to be incredibly resourceful and diligent to keep moving our business forward while engaging strategic capital partners to grow. At the same time, because the cultural shift away from ownership is becoming so clear to investors, it wasn’t too difficult for us to raise capital. Finding the right partner is often the difficulty, so we’re extremely happy when we met Kevin Thau and the broader team at Spark Capital. They shared our vision and quickly proved they’d be a genuine pleasure to work with.What factors about your business led your investors to write the check?There are many attractive components of the Feather concept and business model. One of the strongest factors is that we are fortunate to have a team with the vision, execution ability, and growth that investors are looking for. The Feather team has a wildly varied background with experience at companies like Stripe, Facebook, One Kings Lane, Williams Sonoma, National Geographic, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, XO Group, and a plethora of other amazing companies.What are the milestones you plan to achieve in the next six months?Over the next six months, we are focused on perfecting our reverse logistics to provide the best possible customer experience for our members in the markets we serve – New York, San Francisco, Los Angeles, and Orange County.What advice can you offer companies in New York that do not have a fresh injection of capital in the bank?The concept for Feather did not happen overnight. It took two years of planning, execution, success, and pivots to complete our most recent funding round. For startups in these early stages, keep your mission at the forefront of what you do and surround yourself with partners, colleagues, and advisors who share your energy and vision.The concept for Feather did not happen overnight. It took two years of planning, execution, success, and pivots to complete our most recent funding round. For startups in these early stages, keep your mission at the forefront of what you do and surround yourself with partners, colleagues, and advisors who share your energy and vision.You will often be disappointed, but when all of the scenarios are ironed out and you have tested your minimum viable product, you have to take that leap and get your ideas in front of the investors and decision-makers who can help you take the next step.Where do you see the company going now over the near term?In the near term, we are focused on providing the best possible customer experience for our members in the markets we serve: New York, San Francisco, Los Angeles, and Orange County.What’s your favorite restaurant in the city?I live in Fort Greene, Brooklyn and love pretty much every restaurant there, though I do have a particular fondness for the brunch at Cafe Paulette.PREVIOUS POSTNEXT POST Filed Under: #NYCTech, AlleyTalk, E-Commerce, Funded in the Alley, Funded in the Alley, Funding, Funding News, Interviews, Startups Tagged With: Bain Capital Ventures, Feather, Fuel Capital Scott Belsky, Jay Reno, Kleiner Perkins, PJC, Spark Capital, Y Combinatorlast_img read more

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