Americans on average spend more than 90% of each day indoors. However, based on a recent survey, nearly 82% of American homeowners are more interested in renovating their outdoor living spaces than they were before the pandemic, Exterior co-founder and CEO Jiake Liu told Nerdshala. told.
On top of that, nearly 54% of homeowners have made at least one home improvement in the backyard since the outbreak of COVID-19, while Millennials, now the largest home-buying group, are willing to take in fewer square feet, Or even give up a bedroom, to get a little bit of outdoor space, Liu said.
COVID-19 has caused “flight by density” across the US, meaning millions of Americans have fled big cities to the suburbs to escape the coronavirus pandemic. This trend has led to more market opportunities in the outdoor entertainment industry.
A Santa Monica-based direct-to-consumer (D2C) outdoor furniture startup company, outer, today announced $50 million Series B funding to help more people around the world get their lives back out. The company was founded in 2019 by CEO Liu and Chief Design Officer Terry Lin.
The Series B round was led by Capital Today founder Cathy Xu, with participation from Tribe Capital, C Ventures and Upfront Ventures. Existing investors including Sequoia Capital China, Capricorn Capital, Mantis VC and Reimagined Ventures also participated in the round.
This fundraising comes nearly eight months after Outer’s $10.5 million Series A round in January, bringing its total funding to $65 million.
Liu said the fresh funding will be used to strengthen their 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 . Outer is currently rolling out a variety of roles to enter the global market this year and will announce a strategic international launch in October, Liu told Nerdshala.
“We are currently working on new, eco-friendly fabrics, plastics and concrete to replace the industry standards that pollute our environment,” Liu said. The company’s effort in sustainable materials is working toward carbon neutrality, not on recycled plastics, and has set a goal of becoming carbon negative in the future, he explained.
“From the beginning, the outdoor team has emphasized prioritizing sustainability. Terry and his team pioneered new fabrics and eco-friendly designs to ensure that sustainability does not come at the expense of environmental responsibility. Team Sustainable is developing fabrics, plastics and concrete that will become the new industry gold standard,” said Capital Today founder Cathy Xu.
Its unique feature is its Neighborhood Showroom Program, allowing shoppers to visit nearby outdoor customers’ homes to experience outdoor products in over 1,000 locations across 49 states as of today, an increase from 50 locations in 13 states in 2019. Outer’s direct-to-consumer (D2C) business does not require middlemen such as distributors, retailers or brick-and-mortar showrooms.
Liu said the global furniture market was worth about $17.8 billion in 2018 and is projected to grow to $26.6 billion. The US outdoor living market is estimated to be $33.4 billion in 2021 based on A report from Freedonia.
“Outdoor products have long been a consideration and their poor design has been a serious deterrent to time spent outside. Outer’s thoughtful and sustainable products are already changing the way consumers interact with their outdoor spaces. Xu said, Outer is tackling real consumer problems with its solutions, from dirty, wet outdoor cushions to weird mosquito bites.
“Jiake and his team have taken a product-centric approach to establish Outer as a premium furniture brand – driving rapid growth and attractive unit economics,” said Mr. Pangulur, Tribe Capital Partner.