Bangalore-based Kieraya Furnishing Solutions Pvt. Ltd, which operates Furlenco, an online venture for renting furniture for residential use, has raised $6 million (Rs 38 crore) in a Series A round of funding from LightBox Ventures, with a top company executive told VCCircle.
The money will be spent in enhancing technology and expanding product range.
Furlenco was founded in 2012 by Ajith Mohan Karimpana, former vice-president of Goldman Sachs. Karimpana has an MS in computer and information science from Temple University (US). The venture was running operations under Rent Ur Duniya but later re-branded as Furlenco in 2013.
“Indians mostly buy furniture and dump it and then re-buy because they are relocating at least till they are in 22 to 35 years of age bracket. Or in most cases live without proper furniture and sleep on floor. It is only when they plan to get married and settle down, that they start buying good furniture. We are targeting this lot,” Karimpana told VCCircle.
It offers premium furniture at monthly rentals starting at Rs 1,500 for a bedroom. This package, for instance, consists of a queen size bed and mattress, single bedside table, table lamp and photo frame and soft furnishings. The living room and dining room furnitures are offered at Rs 2,000.
Furlenco also provides other packages charging Rs 5,000 for furnishing a one BHK, Rs 6,000 for two BHK and Rs 7,500 for three BHK apartments, per month. The products on offer are a mix of fresh and refurbished goods.
The company designs its own furniture and gets it manufactured from third party vendors. It currently works with five vendors and has three in house designers.
Besides furniture, it also offers home appliances. However, these are not available as standalone products but are included in the packages.
Karimpana claims that the market value of the set of furniture the company rents for Rs 2,000 ranges between Rs 60,000 to Rs 70,000.
In order to take care of the wear and tear occurred during the rental period by the customer, the company also offers a damage waiver. It does not charge the customer if the damage amount is restricted to Rs 10,000. If the damage exceeds that amount then it asks the customer to pay up.
So far it claims to have furnished 600 houses with mostly being one BHK fully furnishing orders.
It currently operates in Bangalore and plans to expand to one more city by the year end. Its total employee strength is 40 which it plans to expand to 100 by December.
While there are several online players offering such rentals for furniture, most are small ventures as of now. Another player in the same field which has got external funding is Rentomojo. According to YourStory, Rentomojo has raised money from unnamed London-based investors and is also in talks to raise a Series A round.
Meanwhile, for LightBox, this comes as the second new deal this year. Last month it backed Faaso’s, a Sequoia-backed quick service restaurant chain which positions itself as a food-tech venture given its push for web- and mobile-based ordering platform.
LightBox, a VC firm floated by former Sherpalo Ventures’ India head Sandeep Murthy, raised $100 million in a new fund few months back. The VC firm started with two funds, one of which has stakes in some half a dozen firms as a result of a spinout or synthetic secondary transaction involving existing investments of Sherpalo and Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers in India. The first fund has a portfolio comprising GreenDust, ZoomIn, MapmyIndia, Paymate, FutureBazaar and Kotak Urja.
Besides these, the fund has invested in Embibe.com, an online test prep portal specialising in engineering entrance exams.