In the years since their appearance on “Shark Tank” in 2019, Jiake Liu and Terry Lin, owners of the outdoor furniture company Outer, have had no shortage of investors who believe in their model. selling furniture in customers’ backyards rather than traditional bricks and bricks. -mortar stores.
The company just announced the close of a $ 50 million Series B investment round, with Kathy Xu of Capital Today, along with Tribe Capital, C Ventures and Upfront Ventures leading the new investment.
“Consumers are now keenly aware of the importance of the outdoors, and the growth of Outer’s rockets is a testament to the thoughtful design of each product,” said Xu. “The company is breathing new life into an industry that has long been an afterthought, and its recent success is just the beginning.
This is just the latest of the company’s fundraising efforts over the past year and more. In June 2020, the founders announced funding of $ 4.3 million in an investment led by Mucker Capital. In January of this year, Outer said it had received $ 10.5 million in Series A investments, which included contributions from notable angel investors such as Andy Katz-Mayfield and Jeff Raider, the brand’s co-founders. Harry’s razor; Justin Kan, founder of the Twitch streaming platform; Scott Tannen, founder of online bedding company Boll & Branch; and Alex Pall and Drew Taggart of electronic music duo The Chainsmokers, who invest through their venture capitalist Mantis.
Outer was launched in 2019 with a sales model of its eco-friendly outdoor furniture through ‘neighborhood showrooms’, a peer-to-peer customer backyard program, patios and similar environments where potential buyers could visit and view the furniture in a setting similar to their own homes. Clients can apply to become program hosts and are compensated for the time they spend on appointments with potential clients. In July, Outer launched its 1,000th showroom, covering 49 states, a jump from just 50 showrooms in 2019.
Outer offers resin wicker, teak and aluminum furniture, as well as rugs, cushions and blankets, much of which is made at a factory owned by Liu’s family in China. This allowed the startup to bypass some of the supply chain issues plaguing other furniture companies in the wake of the pandemic, leading to a 1,000% increase in sales in 2020.
Liu and Lin said the additional investment would allow them to expand Outer beyond the United States, as well as expand the product line.
“These funds will allow us to continue to develop sustainable materials, build an environmentally friendly supply chain and expand our products and our community,” they said in a statement. “We’re not just stopping at recycled plastics – we’re working on new fabrics, plastics and concretes to replace industry standards, and we’ll be certified carbon negative this fall. “
Expansion appears to be a priority for other industry players. Parachute has just expanded beyond bedding, linens, mattresses and similar soft items to offer a narrow selection of furniture, including bed frames. Bed Bath & Beyond expanded its reach through a Casper Workshop partnership targeting young people as well as an industry advisory group drawing on celebrity experts like Michelin-starred chef Katie Lee Biegel.