Over the next five years, consumers will return furniture estimated at 40 million to 50 million, which will more than likely end up in landfills, creating tons of unnecessary waste, according to Chris Richter, founder of a new Austin-based furniture startup. FloorFound.
To reduce that waste, and give retailers another option for their used goods, Richter has launched FloorFound. The company is designed to manage furniture returns and resale for online merchants. So far, companies such as Floyd Homes, Inside Weather, Outer and Feather (Furniture Rental Company) are using the services of FloorFound.
“We have a very large pipeline and we have been working since April,” Richter said. “We can pick in any major metro locally and inspect it locally. We have a layer of a platform where we can run inspections against those objects. “
As consumers look to reduce their environmental footprint, an easy place to start is by purchasing used items, Richter said, and they expect most of the brands used in their virtual and real showrooms And will start incorporating new products. “Every brand will tarnish new items with resale items,” he said. “We are trying to get retailers into the resale business with their own return inventory.” Richter pointed to companies such as REI and The Gap to prove his point. Joe partnered with ThredUp to sell used clothing.
To complement its returns business and give online vendors a way to work more seamlessly with local vendors, the company has logistics partnerships with providers including Pilot Freight Services, Metropolitan Warehouse and Delivery and JB Hunt Transport.
Working with co-founder Ryan Matthews, former director of technology for Austin-based high-end retailer Center Scott, Richter has established a business that taps into both demand for better customer service for return of big items And increasing calls for greater stability in the furniture industry.
This was an attractive enough proposition to attract pre-seed investment from Planned Ventures, a venture fund focused specifically on technological innovations for chain management.
“The broken experience of oversized e-commerce has put a multi-billion-dollar category offline. This is not a simple problem: Oversized items require hyper-fragmented micro carrier networks, complex physical processing, and then re-injecting into an e-commerce channel that aligns with the brand, ”Julian Counihan, schematic A general partner of said. Ventures. “UPS and FedEx are not going to cut it right now. FloorFound is working with a team tailor to tackle this challenge: Chris Richter, Ryan Matthews and Shannon Hardt have backgrounds in supply chain, distribution, e-commerce and enterprise software. FloorFound will be the final push that moves the remaining offline categories online.”