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Oliver Space secures $36M to keep furniture cycling

Kimberly Chin
Aug 22, 2022
Illustration of an antique couch sticking out of a shopping bag.

Illustration: Brendan Lynch/Axios

Furniture resale company Oliver Space aims to help urban and suburban dwellers extend their furniture's life cycle via its platform for new and used furniture.

Why it matters: Investors are continuing to pour money into startups that address the circular economy and the environment. In March, rival furniture resale marketplace Kaiyo raised $36 million as part of its Series B.

Driving the news: Earlier this month, Oliver Space raised $36 million in a Series B round led by Union Grove Venture Partners. Mayfield Fund, USVP, Expa Capital and LG Technologies participated.

How it works: San Francisco-based Oliver Space allows consumers to buy refurbished (or brand new) pieces on its platform.

  • CEO Chan Park tells Axios the company offers a curated, limited section of furniture to ensure its entire catalog is always in stock.
  • Furniture is delivered in three days and assembled on the spot.

Yes and: Oliver Space also has a trade-in feature – the circular part of the equation – wherein customers' furniture is whisked away to their warehouses for a credit toward their next set of purchases.

  • The company triages the conditions that the products return in, and then cleans, repairs and refurbishes them so they're ready to go back into a home, Park says.

What’s next: Once the company gets into a “fully circular motion” for heavy, bulky goods, it plans to expand into new product categories, such as electronics and kitchenware.

  • “A lot of those products are just being kind of discarded or donated because these retailers do not have the [circular] infrastructure that we are building,” Park says. “And so we would look to partner with those folks and become their reverse logistics, circular logistics provider.”

By the numbers: Americans are projected to spend $353.9 billion on reused items by 2030, a more than 150% increase over 2020, according to a 2021 Mercari and Global Data report on the secondhand market.

  • “Consumers are opening their eyes to responsible consumption,” Park says. “A company like us has to coordinate the logistics in the middle of how do you maximize the lifetime of this product?”

Of note: Oliver Space targets urban areas, where logistics are difficult.

  • The CEO noted the challenges of moving bulky items in walk-up buildings and many urban dwellers who lack vehicles to transport furniture.
  • Oliver Space does serve suburban areas as well.

The bottom line: “When you start to think about extending the lifetime of each product, you can offer higher quality,” that is still affordable, Park says.

  • “Previous to Oliver, the only way I could do this was by going cheaper in materials, cheaper in quality. Well, we have higher quality products that you're still able to get discounts on — because it's been refurbished.”
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