While we’ve had the opportunity to be at home more in recent years, you may have spruced up a home office or replaced a couch. However, once the new item was in your home, you may have had some buyer’s remorse or the item may not have lived up to the photo on the website.
In any case, that oversized item needs a new home, and FloorFound is working with brands and retailers to get that sofa to someone who will love it while avoiding landfill.
We first met the Austin-based company and its founder and CEO Chris Richter in 2020 when FloorFound was just starting out. The company raised $4 million in seed funding in 2021 and is now back with a $10.5 million Series A funding round.
The round was co-led by Next Coast Ventures and LiveOak Venture Partners with participation from existing investors Flybridge Capital Partners and Schematic Ventures and new investor Data Point Capital.
Richter told TechCrunch that the funding comes as more people are interested in buying to resell. Company-sponsored survey conducted in 2021 found that more than 90 percent of U.S. consumers reported purchasing resale items, while research from First Insight and the Wharton School suggests that 83 percent of consumers who bought second-hand products plan to do so again, which represents an increase of 17% in 2019.
“The tailwinds that supported our business in 2020 and 2021 have only improved, as has consumer confidence around sustainability, so we have grown accordingly,” he added.
However, reverse logistics doesn’t work without a plan for how to handle the return and resale of those larger items, and FloorFound is simplifying this process through its comprehensive technology platform that streamlines both the recovery and resale of returned items. , gently used and open box items.
In February 2021, the company launched its solution and has since more than doubled its re-trade sales every quarter on average. It also increased its customer base fivefold, which includes furniture brands like Inside Weather, Floyd and Burrow. And, Richter noted, FloorFound has worked with its customers to keep nearly 450,000 pounds of furniture in circulation and out of landfills so far.
FloorFound is the latest fundraiser in a US resale industry set to grow more than 150% in the next decade and be worth $330 billion, according to research from Mercari and GlobalData. It joins Loveseat, also based in Austin, which raised $7 million in Series A funding in March for its returned home goods marketplace. On the fashion front, companies like Recurate this week announced $17.5 million Series A funding.
In the meantime, FloorFound intends to use the new funding to expand its presence in the US market and move into additional retail verticals such as appliances, mattresses and exercise equipment. The company currently has four major third-party logistics partnerships and more than 40 warehouse centers, a number Richter plans to triple this year.
What makes FloorFound stand out from its competitors is its approach to putting retailers, who often struggle to make returns effectively, at the center of commerce, according to Richter.
“Retailers will miss out on a revenue opportunity if they don’t engage in trading, but swapping and buying back is a leap for many of them,” he added. “By targeting the issue of oversized returns, we can help them use that inventory to launch new sales channels.”