Looking for new furniture can be an unpleasant experience. Oliver Space is leveraging technology to bring ease and flexibility for buyers.
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The home furnishing company, headquartered in San Francisco, closed on a $13 million Series A round of funding led by U.S. Venture Partners. Joining in on the round was Mayfield Fund, Abstract VC, Expa Capital and Burst Capital. Including the new funding, Oliver Space has raised $21 million in equity and $16 million in debt since it was founded in 2018, co-founder and CEO Chan Park told Crunchbase News.
The idea of Oliver Space came when Park was living in Singapore, where he rented a furnished apartment.
“All I had to do was pick up my keys and was able to move in in half an hour,” he said. “It was also elegantly designed, so for the first time I felt like I had a place I loved living in and was was proud of, all set up for me. It made my work stresses melt away, I found that I would clean up more, and I could host my friends and family and just enjoy my space.”
Today’s furniture-buying process is broken with the consumer left making choices, such as buying more expensive pieces they may not keep forever, buying less-costly items that have a shorter lifespan and even made-to-order pieces that take months to arrive, according to Park.
Instead, Oliver Space was designed to make it easier and flexible to have a great space.
Here’s how it works:
- Customers can find curated furniture, sourced direct from the manufacturer, that they rent on a monthly basis with flexible ownership options.
- Use the “Room Builder” to view pieces together or start a live chat with Oliver Space for room ideas.
- Choose between short-term, long-term or upfront plans, all with no interest. Pick a white-glove delivery date for as soon as three days in advance.
- Once you have the items and see how they work in your space, you can swap them, schedule a pickup or keep the favorites. All your payments go toward ownership.
Furniture and home furnishing sales is expected to top 14 percent of total retail e-commerce sales in the United States by 2022, according to Statista. Revenue for this category was $65.12 billion in 2018 and is forecasted to reach nearly $100 billion by 2022.
In the past year, Oliver Space grew 500 percent in monthly revenue and 800 percent in monthly order volume. As a result, Park expects to triple employee headcount to meet the demand.
He also intends to use the funding for a market by market expansion, technology development and marketing capabilities, Park said. It is already currently available in San Francisco, Los Angeles, Dallas, Austin, San Diego and Seattle.
“People were investing in their homes prior to the global pandemic, but overnight they became a work and social space, so the purpose for what homes were used for also changed,” Park said. “Our flexible model enables customers to tinker with their space and quickly turn everything around.”
As part of the investment, USVP’s General Partner Rick Lewis will join the Oliver Space’s board of directors. The Menlo Park-based early-stage firm is investing from its 12th fund and targets startups in software, cybersecurity, consumer and health care technology.
In the consumer space, Lewis said, the firm looks for companies “trying to deliver a magical solution to a big problem.” He called the home furnishings space a “super interesting category that is frozen in time,” meaning that you order something, wait for the boxes to arrive and if you don’t like what you have, there is not a flexible experience to return it.
“When we heard about Oliver Space, we found the magical solution,” Lewis said in an interview. “When we spoke to the customers, they told us they were overwhelmed with the typical buying experience, but with Oliver Space thought the offerings were high quality, very sturdy and well made. It ties back to the belief that customers like having fewer, but better, options rather than choosing from 15,000 chairs.”
Feature photo of a curated study courtesy of Oliver Space.
Blogroll illustration: Li-Anne Dias
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