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Furniture Startup Snags $15M As Stay-At-Home Decor Booms

Since the coronavirus pandemic hit, furniture rental startup Fernish says it has seen a surge in business.

With so many people now working from home, the Los Angeles-based company reports a 300% increase in home office orders since February.

Fernish co-founder and CEO Michael Barlow

Fernish said Monday that it has now raised $15M for a Series A round of funding by top names in the real estate world, including RET Ventures, Spencer Rascoff, the co-founder of Zillow, and Fred Tuomi, the former CEO of Invitation Homes.

Other participants are Khosla Ventures, Techstars Investments and the co-founders of Intuit, HotelTonight and Scopely. It also included current and former Amazon executives via Tapas Capital.

"Raising capital in the current climate is a testament to our team’s unwavering focus on fundamental business economics and providing an amazing customer experience," Fernish co-founder Michael Barlow said in a statement.

"This team’s discipline in radically improving our underlying business economics while we grew our revenue by 10x over 2019 speaks to this team’s caliber as operators."

The company told Bisnow that is has seen solid growth in both its primary markets in Los Angeles and Seattle, with its home office category soaring 50%. Other popular categories include bedroom furniture, decor and accessories and things used to enhance a space's appeal.

Barlow said that the startup would like to double its current 40-employee headcount, as well as the number of delivery personnel. 

"Team is important for us," he said, adding that Fernish is looking for experts in product management, design and expanding marketing that have a "bar-raising mentality." 

Barlow added that the company had taken great pains to coordinate launching in new markets while also ensuring no employees were laid off during the coronavirus pandemic thus far.

"It's a post-pandemic world. Right now, people are being forced to spend time at home, and residential is [best-positioned, including] stay-at-home furnishing," he said.

"[Consumers are] taking stock of what they look like, what's the energy and windows and visibility in people's lives? I bought four new plants and new dogs," he said. "We're making an adjustment to the lifestyle and evolving to your home right now."

Related Topics: Fernish