Furniture-as-a-service startup Fernish raises $30 million in new capital to grow its customer base and revolutionize the furniture industry
Fernish, a furniture-as-a-service e-commerce startup, has raised $30 million in new capital to hire new talent, grow its customer base and expand its market. The round was co-led by RET Ventures with participation from Techstars Investments and prominent individuals including Jeff Wilke, Amazon’s CEO of Worldwide Consumer, and Scott Cook, founder of Intuit. In 2018, Fernish raised raised $2.5 million as well as an unspecified amount of debt. Backers include TechStars as well as a group of private investors that includes the CEO of a large furniture rental company, a former director of planning at Wayfair and several current and former Amazon employees.
Fernish is disrupting the furniture business. According to LivingSpaces.com, the recommended lifespan for most furniture is between five to ten years. Most people don’t even keep furniture for that long. So, why buy when you can just rent? Fernish makes it easy to subscribe to the furniture you love. You may decide to swap it when you are ready for a change. They also give you the option to buy it, or simply walk away when you don’t want it anymore.
Founded in 2017 by Lucas Dickey, Lucas Dickey, and Michael Barlow, Fernish is a subscription service for the home. The company creates flexible and inspired home experiences for an increasingly mobile society. Fernish provides subscribers the opportunity to choose home furnishings they want for however long they want them, for one monthly subscription price. It first launched in Los Angeles in 2018 and has since expanded to the Seattle area, with plans to enter several new markets this year. Fernish is a subscription service for home. The startup give you stylish home furnishings for however long you want them. Fernish currently doesn’t have its own physical storefront. Instead, it offers furniture from places like Crate & Barrel, CB2, Floyd and others.
Since launch in 2018, Fernish has put millions of dollars of furniture into circulation with its subscriber base, who choose from a designer-curated inventory of top-quality furniture from select retailers and in-house brands. Subscribers sign up for a plan entailing a monthly fee, and can swap-out, buy-out or return furniture to Fernish once their subscription period ends.
“We’re excited to work with Fernish as they create a new category of customer behavior,” said RET Ventures Managing Director John Helm. “We’ve seen companies like Rent the Runway, Uber and Lyft challenge consumers’ notions of product ownership and succeed. We believe Fernish has a leadership team in place that has answered a market need with an innovative business model.”
Furniture Today’s Consumer Buying Trends Survey found that millennials are the largest consumer group in the US furniture and bedding market despite the average age of first-time homebuyers going up to 30 years old in 2018. This means that young professional consumers buy, move and dispose of furniture through a variety of short-term housing situations. This burdensome need to buy, move, sell or store furniture is made more acute by the fact that the average person moves 12 times in their lifetime. Fernish provides people with a flexible alternative to furniture ownership that enables customers to select pieces based on their lifestyle, budget and taste.
“Fernish is responding to a change in consumer behavior towards mobility, flexibility and convenience,” says Michael Barlow, co-founder and CEO of Fernish. “These trends have significantly impacted industries like homes, cars and clothing. Fernish is bringing those same trends to home furnishings.”
“Since launching last year, we’ve learned an incredible amount about our customer base and what they value,” says Lucas Dickey, co-founder and Chief Product Officer at Fernish. “The new capital will allow us to continue building our team and platform around those learnings.”