D2C Outdoor Furniture Brand Outer Secures $ 50 Million Series B Funding to Drive Materials Expansion and Development – TechCrunch
Americans spend on average more than 90% of their day indoors. However, about 82% of US homeowners are more interested in renovating their outdoor living spaces than they were before the pandemic, according to a recent survey, Outer co-founder and CEO Jiake Liu told TechCrunch. .
On top of that, about 54% of homeowners have made at least one backyard home renovation since the COVID-19 outbreak, while millennials, the largest group of home buyers now, are ready. to take up less square footage indoors, or even give up a bedroom for some outdoor space, Liu said.
COVID-19 has caused a “density leak” across the United States, which means millions of Americans have fled major cities to the suburbs to escape the coronavirus pandemic. This trend has led to more market opportunities in the outdoor entertainment industry.
Outer, a Santa Monica-based outdoor furniture startup (D2C), today announced its $ 50 million Series B funding to help more people around the world get their lives back on the outside. . The company was founded by CEO Liu and Design Director Terry Lin in 2019.
Series B was led by Capital Today founder Kathy Xu with participation from Tribe Capital, C Ventures and Upfront Ventures. Existing investors, including Sequoia Capital China, Mucker Capital, Mantis VC and Reimagined Ventures, have also joined the round.
The fundraiser, which comes about eight months after Outer’s $ 10.5 million Series A round in January, brings its total funding to $ 65 million.
The new funding will be used to solidify its position in the outdoor living industry as they develop new sustainable materials, build an eco-friendly supply chain and expand their product offering and community, Liu said. Outer is currently recruiting a variety of positions to enter the global market this year and will announce a strategic international launch in October, Liu told TechCrunch.
âWe are working on new environmentally friendly fabrics, plastics and concrete to replace industry standards that currently pollute our environment,â Liu said. The company’s effort in sustainable materials does not stop with recycled plastics, but works towards carbon neutrality, and has set itself the goal of becoming carbon negative in the future, he explained. .
âFrom the start, the Outer team has insisted on prioritizing sustainability. Terry and his team have come up with new fabrics and eco-friendly designs to ensure that sustainability doesn’t come at the expense of environmental responsibility. The team is developing sustainable fabrics, plastics and concrete that will become the industry’s new gold standard, âsaid Kathy Xu, founder of Capital Today.
Its unique feature is its Neighborhood Showroom program, allowing shoppers to visit the homes of nearby external customers to experience Outer products in over 1,000 locations in 49 states to date, which has grown from 50 locations in 13 states in 2019. Selling to Consumers (D2C) activities do not require intermediaries such as distributors, retailers or physical showrooms.
The global furniture market was around $ 17.8 billion in 2018 and is expected to reach $ 26.6 billion in 2027, Liu said. The U.S. outdoor living market is estimated at $ 33.4 billion in 2021, according to a report from Freedonia.
Outer recently launched the Teak collection, the Aluminum collection and the Bug Shield blankets.
âOutdoor products have long been an afterthought and poor design has been a serious barrier to time spent outdoors. Outer’s thoughtful, sustainable products are already changing the way consumers interact with their outdoor spaces, âsaid Xu, adding that Outer is tackling real consumer issues, from dirty and wet outdoor cushions to bites. annoying mosquitoes, with its solutions.
âJiake and his team have taken a product-driven approach to establish Outer as a premium furniture brand, fostering rapid growth and an attractive unit economy,â said Sri Pangulur, partner of Tribe Capital.