FloorFound is bringing online return and resale to direct to consumer furniture businesses

Over the next five years, consumers are estimated to be returning 40 to 50 million pieces of furniture that will most likely end up in landfills creating tons of unnecessary waste, according to Chris Richter, founder of a new furniture startup based in Austin. FloorFound.

In order to reduce this waste and give retailers another option for their used goods, Richter launched FloorFound. The company is designed to manage furniture returns and resales for online retailers. So far, companies like Floyd Home, Inside Weather, Outer and Feather (the furniture rental company) use FloorFound’s services.

“We have a very large pipeline and have been in operation since April 1st,” said Richter. “We can pick up and inspect on-site in any major subway. We have a platform layer on which we can conduct inspections against these items.”

As consumers seek to reduce their environmental footprint, buying used items is an easy place to start, Richter said, and he anticipates that most brands will incorporate used and new products into their virtual and real showrooms. “Each brand will mix new items with resale items,” he said. “We’re trying to get retailers into the resale business with their own returns inventory.” To prove his point, Richter pointed to companies like REI and The Gap, which have partnered with ThredUp to sell used clothing.

To complement the returns business and enable online sellers to work more seamlessly with local suppliers, the company has logistics partnerships with providers such as Pilot Freight Services, Metropolitan Warehouse and Delivery and JB Hunt Transport.

Working with co-founder Ryan Matthews, former technology director of Austin-based high-end retailer Kendra Scott, Richter founded a company that meets both the demand for better customer service for large item returns and the growing call for sustainability in the furniture industry.

It was attractive enough to attract a pre-seed investment from Schematic Ventures, a venture fund that focuses solely on technological innovation for supply chain management.

“The broken experience of oversized e-commerce has kept a multi-billion dollar category offline. It’s not an easy problem: oversized items require coordination of a hyper-fragmented microcarrier network, complex physical processing, and re-injection into an e-commerce channel that is branded, “said Julian Counihan, General Partner at Schematic Ventures.” UPS and FedEx just won’t make it. FloorFound meets this challenge with a team tailored to this task: Chris Richter, Ryan Matthews and Shannon Hardt have backgrounds in the supply chain, delivery, e-commerce and business software. FloorFound is the final push that moves the remaining offline categories online.

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