Online Furniture Start-ups in India: A Look at the New Venture Capital Trend
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With Indian startups continually attracting capital from not only venture capitalists but also from celebrities across the world, problems plaguing the core sectors would potentially be resolved and addressed by these ventures. Leading investors believe that this approach has led to the creation of a new trend where there would be investments and capital pumped-in to solve even everyday issues that appear on paper to be minor. This is potentially slated to be the new-gen funding apart from that of niche sectors like technology, healthcare, and businesses.
In an earlier article, Entrepreneur India viewed how the Online Furniture sector would lead to new-gen investments from capitalists and angel investors.
Category-specific Investments, for Startups to Solve Teething Issues
Leading venture capitalists believe that with youngsters, mostly in the 30-35 age group, driving significant venture capital/ angel investment decisions, the trends are rapidly changing with respect to finding answers to general everyday issues. “Today’s VCs are generally entrepreneurs with an avid interest in not only funding startups but also ensuring that they develop technology-driven models to actually solve problems that generally tend to go unnoticed,” states Daniel P George who is a Bengaluru-based financial analyst.
Daniel’s statement derives substance from the fact that more than $200 million have been pumped into Indian startups engaged in finding solutions through technology but working on other areas such as hospitality, agriculture, furniture, and more; but outside of core technical sector. Out of these ‘new areas’, the furniture domain has been found to contain emerging potential.
Also, Entrepreneur India randomly sought inputs from multiple Bengaluru-based capitalists who, along with startup owners believe that online furniture purchase and rental services delivered through technology harnessing would solve a pain-point for the Indian working class. This category of people is constantly on the move and spends little time in physically buying and selling furniture for their homes.
“I prefer purchasing furniture online as I can save a lot of time and effort along with money involved in physical furniture purchase. Online furniture service these days is hassle-free and reliable,” states Samuels who heads an IoT startup and has only recently shifted base to Mumbai from New Delhi.
Analysing the Funding Pattern of Leading Furniture Start-ups in 2018, Capital Raised
“Startups either offering furniture rentals online or actually aggregating selling services are today witnessing financial growth in line with the demands of the modern Indian consumer,” adds Daniel.
Also, Entrepreneur India’s independent research showed that the below furniture startups were the forerunners as far as attracting capital from investors, and driving new age technology-driven services are concerned:
Pepperfry has so far managed to raise capital in excess of $150 million from investors such as Goldman Sachs, Bertelsmann, and Norwest Venture Partners. Its latest funding round in 2016 led by Goldman Sachs saw the startup raise $30 million. As many as 5 investors took part in the round along with Goldman Sachs.
As far as the startup itself is concerned, Pepperfry lets people purchase furniture from the comfort of their homes. Founded in Mumbai in 2011 by Ambareesh Murthy and Ashish Shah, the venture also offers lifestyle items, along with furniture having deals & discounts on them.
This early-stage venture has so far managed to raise $28 million venture capital. Despite its venture capital lesser than that of Pepperfry, investors and consumers alike believe that this startup deserves a mention in the top-10 list of furniture rentals considering the fact that it offers complete home design, decor, and interior design solutions including furniture purchase services. Livspace has also acquired three other startups viz DezinUp and YoFloor, and Dwll.In.
Livspace has so far undergone 3 funding rounds with the latest being a Series B in 2016 led by Bessemer Venture Partners.
Urban Ladder, founded in Bengaluru in 2012, has Sequoia Capital and SAIF Partners among its investors. This online furniture company lets people customize their homes through urban designs.
At this juncture, Urban Ladder is said to be looking at raising an undisclosed amount of capital from existing investors. The last round of funding for the startup was in 2017 which was a Series E led by unknown investors.
As per Crunchbase, Urban Ladder is said to have raised $95.2 million capital in 6 rounds of funding.
HomeLane based out in Bengaluru and founded in 2014 by Srikanth Iyer, Rama Harinath, and Vivek Parasuram underwent a Series C in December 2017 and raised $10 million. The startup has Accel Partners, Sequoia Capital, and Aarin Capital among its investors.
Total capital raised by HomeLane amounts to $64.5 million.
HomeLane offers home customization and vertical interior design solutions more than just furniture purchase.
This furniture rental startup that also lets people rent home lifestyle products. RentoMojo offers monthly rental subscription plans to subscribers. Currently operating in Chennai, Bangalore, Hyderabad, Delhi, Noida, Gurugram, and Pune; RentoMojo has raised $17 million capital, with its latest funding round being a Series B that saw Bain Capital Ventures lead other investors in pumping $10 million into RentoMojo.
RentoMojo was founded in Bengaluru in 2014. USP of the startup’s services is its subscription model (monthly) which offers customized discounts for customers based on needs.
Very recently, Furlenco that offers furniture for rent in sync with the use it till you want to approach, raised INR 5 crores from existing investors Signet Chemical Corporation. The latest round of funding takes the total amount of capital, raised by Furlenco to nearly $39 million, with investors such as Bollywood actor Aamir Khan also funding $300,000 in 2017.
At this instant, it is also worth noting that Furlenco has managed to grab the attention of as many as 6 investors in total, and the startup also underwent Series A and Series B in 2015 and 2016 respectively.
Rentickle offers furniture and home appliances on rent to people constantly on the move and looking to set up temporary bases in different cities of India. Rentickle, founded in 2015, has raised more than $4 million in three years with as many as 7 investors backing the startup.
The furniture and home appliances rental platform last underwent a venture round which saw $4 million pumped in by Ajay Relan andThinKuvate. Rentickle was founded by Vineet Chawla and Amit Sodhi in Gurugram.
This Bengaluru-based startup, founded by Himesh Josh, Arjit Gupta, and Rohit Ramasubramanian, has thus far managed to raise $16.2 million in investments predominantly from Sequoia Capital and Helion Ventures. Zefo lets people purchase and sell used furniture online. Zefo’s most recent funding was a Series B in 2017.
This early-stage startup lets people rent furniture, along with a range of electronics and lifestyle goods. Voko, in 2017, raised undisclosed capital from India Accelerator. Voko was founded in 2016 in Gurugram. USP of the startup is its easy rental plans that offer customized deals & discounts.
This startup offers home designing solutions online. Homefuly operates out of Hyderabad and Pune targeting ITcos looking at affordability whilst choosing furniture with minimal effort. At this juncture, Homefuly’s raised capital is unknown.