The notion of ownership is changing and with the rise of Ola/Uber in India, startups are disrupting some of the well established markets in India.
Furlenco, a furniture rental startup has raised $6mn in funding from Lightbox. Furlenco owns the entire experience – i.e. from design to delivery.
Lightbox Investor, Sid Talwar shares an interesting perspective on the hypothesis behind this investment.
To own something will become less and less important, while product experience and community driven aspiration will move us from “outright buying” to short-term renting. Just look at the number of people renting iPhones over the weekend in Brazil.
Furniture is a very interesting industry. For one, furniture in India is very expensive. In fact, for many of us, it’s amongst the top 3 most expensive purchases we will make in our lives. Other things we buy either consistently fall in price (think phones, electronic goods, appliances) or provide consumers access to financial support through long-term loans (homes, cars). In furniture, prices have remained consistent through the years and there are few financing options.
As a result, it’s one of the few times that a purchase isn’t a reflection of the consumer’s personality. You’re forced to either buy a few pieces of furniture at a time, or buy lower quality furniture than they want to, or then just don’t buy at all. Very few other purchases force this decision on their customers. Can you imagine buying a car one tire at a time?