Branch carves out new furniture collection as folks return to the office – TechCrunch

Branch, a New York-based office furniture company, has spent the last two years focused on outfitting everyone’s work-from-home digs with its core products. Now it’s ready to launch some new products, including some for those returning to their office away from home.

The company was launched in 2019 by Greg Hayes, Sib Mahapatra and Verity Sylvester so people could buy premium furniture without going through a dealer, saving an average of 50% compared to buying from traditional retailers, he said. There is.

We chronicled the company’s early days with corporate offices and its brush with the global pandemic in 2020, which included some layoffs and a shift to home office furniture. Hayes has since told TechCrunch that the move has given Branch a way to bounce back and catch some macro tailwinds from people working from home more than expected.

“We sold all of our inventory in about a month and we spent 2020 trying to keep up and we went into 2021 wondering if there was any real business here,” he added. “Turns out there was. We grew 600% in 2020 and then quadrupled that growth in 2021. This year we are planning to triple it again.”

The branch founders, from left to right, Verity Sylvester, Greg Hayes and Sib Mahapatra. Image credits: Branch office

The company’s furniture line includes ergonomic chairs, standing desks, team workstations, filing cabinets, conference room furniture and room dividers. Chair prices range from $250 to $400, while desks range from $500 to $1,000.

Branch raised $3.5 million, some in 2019 and some in 2020, while generating an eight-figure run rate on that capital, Hayes said.

Now the company has raised another $10 million, this time in a Series A round, mainly to focus on new product launches. The capital injection was carried out by Springdale Ventures and includes Maywic Select Investments, Group RMC and Agya Ventures. Also participating are a group of individual investors from the proptech and direct-to-consumer industries, including Saatva Mattress founder Ricky Joshi, Convene founder Ryan Simonetti, and Outer founder Jiake Liu. Existing investors also participated, including Nine Four Ventures, Alate Partners, RRE and angel investor Ben Zises.

“We had come a long way in our core products, especially for the work-from-home market, but developing new furniture products was difficult and we wanted to get it right,” added Hayes. “The increase allows us to make good hires, launch great products and build technology around furniture so there is a new way to interact with furniture and digital optimization with the supply chain.”

He sees Branch’s technology interfacing in two ways: One is on the consumer side, which will be released first, including ergonomics and a more elegant app experience that gives people guidance on how to set up their chair or desk. You’ll also have better interaction with customer support, product ordering, and gamification.

On the business side, the company saw a gap in how office managers can manage their office furniture; for example, damage reports or floor space configuration.

As more employees returned to the office, Branch saw business revenue grow 500% in the last three quarters. His sweet spot is between 20 and 200 employees, and much of his business comes from customers telling office managers about the furniture.

Additionally, the company is receiving business from homeowners looking to pre-furnish their spaces. Hayes expects this type of customer to account for 10% of Branch’s business, which was not that high before the global pandemic.

As for the new funding, Branch used it to fill a few key positions, including head of furniture design, marketing, sales and operations. Previously, the team was less than 20 people. The company is also focused on product development and R&D, and is also considering a possible brick-and-mortar store towards the end of the year.

“We’re getting known for our design and for being a design-driven brand,” Hayes said. “This year and next year, we will increase that. This is a massive industry, bigger than most, but there’s no Harry’s or Allbirds in the furniture space, so we’re on our way to being a leader here.”

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