The furniture rental industry is stuck in the last. Current options involve old-school companies like CORT where most of the inventory will make your apartment look like a dorm room, or a place like Rent-A-Center where you'll almost certainly pay many times what the item is actually worth.
Enter Feather, a company trying to breathe some life into the aging industry by letting you rent good-looking, modern furniture from anywhere from 3 to 12 months. The startup, which recently launched from Y Combinator's summer '17 class, has now raised $3.5M in seed funding from Kleiner Perkins, Bain Capital Ventures, SV Angel and others.
Feather has a pretty defined target audience - millennials who have already graduated college but haven't yet bought their first home. This demographic (myself included) moves frequently, sometimes switching apartments every year. Which can make buying furniture an expensive and cumbersome process. Not only do you have to hire movers each year, but you also are stuck with furniture that may not fit in your next space.
Which is why Jay Reno, founder and CEO of Feather, thinks you should just rent all of your furniture from him.
Right now the startup has a decent sized catalogue of furniture that comes in bundles (like a bedroom set) or a la carte. While all the pieces are generic right now they all are designed to be mid to high-end in design - like things you'd find in a CB2 or West Elm catalogue. And eventually the startup hopes to add name brand items, so your next rented couch can actually come from somewhere like West Elm.
Pricing is pretty reasonable, starting around $150 per month for a full bedroom and living room set. Delivery and assembly is free, and the startup charges a $199 pick up fee (which is probably less than you'd be paying a mover). Reno explained that renting with Feather will always be cheaper than buying the items outright, and of course by renting you get the ability to switch things out for different styles and shapes each time you move.
And for anyone that has concerns over quality, all items are throughly cleaned and inspected before being delivered and nothing is ever rented out more than three times. When you think of how many people have slept on the bed in your last hotel room, Feather's rental guidelines suddenly don't seem so bad.
The startup plans to use the new funding to build out its team and expand to new markets. Right now their consumer product is live in SF and NYC, but they also offer an office furniture rental service that delivers all over the U.S.
- This article originally appeared on TechCrunch.