Interior Define, a Chicago-based e-commerce company wants to build you a better, and better-designed, couch for less, and has raised $1 million in seed funding to make that happen.
The company, which is announcing design collaborations with the online website The Everygirl and HGTV host Alison Victoria, has a board including Bonobos founder and chief executive Andy Dunn, Clint Peterson, a managing partner with the private equity and venture capital investment firm Peterson Partners, and Brendan Wallace, the founder and former chief executive of Identified. Both Peterson and Dunn re-invested in the $1 million seed round.
In the six months since its launch, Interior Define, has managed to set up a retail store in Chicago, and has begun shipping couches to customers around the country. The company intends to launch additional stores in other U.S. cities in the coming months.
“We thought of a better way to give consumers customized upholstered furniture,” says Rob Royer. “We have design forms and we offer customers something unique, particularly at our price point. An entry level sofa is $300 and our sectional is $3500. Our average sofa is $1600 and those prices include delivery. We’re about 30% less than a big box retailer.”
Founded by Rob Royer, a former Bonobos employee who comes from a family of interior designers and architects, and Steve Mcclearn, a former vice president of commerce at Sears Brands LLC (yes it still exists), Interior Define requires 12 weeks from an initial order to deliver a piece of furniture, in part because manufacturing is done at factories in the Foshan region of China.
Interior Define is tilting at a market that has already seen companies raise, and lose, immense amounts of cash. Perhaps no company epitomizes the rise and fall of the furniture and lifestyle brand category as Fab.com, which weathered a rocky 2013, and had a tough road in 2014, as it pivoted to a new strategy.
Still, other furniture and lifestyle focused retailers, like One Kings Lane, have managed to raise hundreds of millions behind the notion that the more aesthetically minded are willing to shop and spend online for nicer home decor.
Interior Define differs in the levels of customization it provides to customers. The same couch can be made with different variations in the types of cushions, the types of legs, and the upholstery that’s used. “Since every piece is built after an order is placed, we can also offer customization options typically reserved to high end, design-district furniture brands,” Royer said in a statement.