Forget furniture rentals of the past with their heavy chrome and faux leather features. Feather, a new type of subscription furniture rental service with a modern sense of style, has just raised $30 million to fuel its expansion, reports Interior Design. The Series B funding round was led by Cobalt Capital and included participation from previous investors including Spark Capital, Kleiner Perkins, Bain Capital Ventures, Y Combinator, SV Angel, PJC, Fuel Capital and others. This brings the total equity funding raised to date to $46 million.
Launched in 2017, Feather currently operates in four major metropolitan markets – Los Angeles, Orange County (California), San Francisco and New York City. The company said it will use the funding to invest in its proprietary reverse logistics technology, expand into new markets and focus on talent acquisition to complement its current team.
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“From early conversations, we knew we had found an exceptional partner in Cobalt,” said Jay Reno, founder and CEO of Feather. “They support the work we’re doing to keep more furniture in homes and out of landfills because we share a vision for changing the relationship people have with material goods.”
Dan Abrams, a partner at Cobalt Capital, commented on the firm’s interest in Feather.
“Feather is a revolutionary furniture solution changing the way people outfit their homes,” said Abrams. “We’re thrilled to support Jay and help the team build this next-generation furniture offering by leveraging our experience scaling consumer and digital content companies.”
Feather offers a two-tiered furniture subscription program: non-member and member. Non-members do not pay a monthly fee to access furniture, but they have a higher minimum fee of $99 per month which goes toward the purchase price of the furniture. They also pay $99 for furniture delivery and assembly, $99 per trip to change out furniture and a three-month minimum plan.
The membership program is more popular, says Feather. For a $19 a month member fee, members have a minimum monthly payment of $29, and they get free furniture and assembly, discounted pricing, one free change per year, and $99 per change at any time. Monthly payments go toward the purchase price of the pieces selected. Feather states that no shopper will ever pay more than retail, which is quite a bit different than furniture rental stores of the past, where customers would pay a significant amount above retail price for their purchases.
Feather has more than 150 pieces of furniture available from a variety of brands (e.g., Pottery Barn, Tuft & Needle, Feather), categories (e.g., living room, bedroom, dining room, home office, kids’ room, outdoor, lighting and curated packages) and styles (mid-century, contemporary, Scandinavian and industrial). Shoppers can look at the entire online catalog, search by room, brand or category, or they can take Feather’s online style quiz to get recommendations on what might best suit their needs.
This is an exciting refresh of the old furniture rental model, designed for millennials on the move who are on a budget, not ready to make a long-term commitment, or who want to try before they buy. The model also makes sense for short-term job assignments, provided the shopper is moving to a market where Feather is available. By raising more funding to expand, Feather can really test their business model to see where it works and where it doesn’t. The options are varied, the pricing is fair, and the shoppers remain in control. Except for an early cancellation fee for people who want furniture for less than the three-month minimum, we don’t see any downsides, and we love the innovative solution.