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Founders of Hotwire, TripIt raise $3.2M for furniture resale marketplace

Image Credit: Chairish Facebook

Chairish wants you to sit and sleep in style, without going broke. The startup has raised $3.3 million to grow its peer-to-peer marketplace for reselling furniture.

Chairish is basically an online consignment store filled with Ralph Lauren chairs, mahogany tables, and handcrafted rugs. People list furniture or decor they no longer want, and others can browse through pages of furniture at reduced prices. The listings include work from well-known designers and items in a wide range of styles. Chairish helps sellers with logistics and payments, and it offers a concierge service that posts items for them.

Furnishing a home is generally an enjoyable yet expensive and time-consuming process. I recently furnished my apartment and spent hours going into every furniture and thrift store in a 10-block radius looking for unique items that weren’t mass-produced and yet were affordable. I also searched around on Craigslist for used furniture. My efforts were largely unsuccessful on both fronts. I couldn’t afford the nice things from nice stores, and spending my Saturday combing through dusty consignment stores or visiting strangers’ homes in the San Francisco’s Mission district was not appealing either. This is the gap Chairish is trying to fill.

You can buy furniture online at many places — Wayfair and Amazon have massive home furnishing inventories; retailers like Ikea, Target, Walmart operate online stores; and marketplaces Craigslist and Etsy also feature furniture. However, Chairish is taking advantage of peer-to-peer transactions to make use of underused assets. The resale economy has erupted over the past few years, and people are turning to online marketplaces to make money off their existing resources and/or find cool things at lower prices. Fashion resale startups like Poshmark and Threadflip have done this successfully, and Chairish is applying the same principle to home furnishings.

The company’s founders are Eric Grosse, Gregg and Anna Brockway, Andy Denmark, and Nancy Ramamurthi. Grosse was a cofounder and president of Hotwire.com, and he then went on to serve as president of Expedia, CEO of TaskRabbit, and now is at the helm of Chairish. Brockway previously founded TripIt, which was acquired for $120 million in 2011, where he also worked with Denmark and Ramamurthi. The site’s chief curator is Brockway’s wife, Anna, who is the former VP of marketing at Levi Strauss. The Brockways came up for the idea while moving houses and having no place to sell the high-end furniture that they didn’t want in their new home. Rather than allow their possessions to languish, they created a place where people could get the most out of their investment.

Azure Capital Partners and O’Reilly AlphaTech Ventures (OATV) led this round, both who invested in TripIt.  It will support growth of the marketplace, which launched earlier this year. Chairish receives 20 percent of the selling price upon sale and arranges shipping.

Chairish is based in San Francisco.

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