From SharkTank to $4.3 million in seed money, Outer is ready to revolutionize the business of outdoor furniture
The Santa Monica-based direct-to-consumer outdoor furniture brand, Outer, has raised $4.3 million. Outer is known for making durable, sophisticated pieces and for creating the OuterShell® cushion cover. The investment, led by Mucker Capital and backed by a number of stakeholders, will enable Outer to support the development and introduction of new products. The brand is looking to grow its portfolio as well as expand the footprint of its innovative retail model.
COVID-19 and the Rise of Outdoor Furniture Sales
Spring outdoor furniture sales are up by 428% according to Criteo, a global leader in commerce marketing, and this year the company has consistently outperformed overall industry growth, and is poised to expand and release new products to an actively engaged audience. With this recent surge in sales, the company turned profitable, an extreme rarity for new brands in year two. New product innovation is a key area of focus for the brand, which will enable the company to evolve further into an outdoor lifestyle brand with the introduction of additional offerings, such as rugs and accent tables, all featuring the core brand pillars of eco-consciousness, versatility, and longevity. The new capital will also serve as a vehicle to further expand the Neighborhood Showroom program, which transports the traditional brick-and-mortar shopping model into their customers’ backyards. Shoppers get an individualized shopping experience where they connect with a neighbor who is an Outer customer and get to test out Outer products in-person, in a real customer’s backyard. Virtual appointments and design consultations are also available for customers.
“As a company, we’ve only started to scratch the surface of the outdoor furniture industry through the introduction of Neighborhood Showrooms and our signature Outer Sofa and OuterShell integrated cushion cover,” said Jiake Liu, CoFounder of Outer. “Our key focus is to create beautiful, durable and innovative outdoor furniture with an emphasis on quality design and eco-friendliness. The financial support and expertise of our investors will help us execute this vision more broadly and release new innovative products and further expand Neighborhood Showrooms, which we anticipate will change the way in which consumers shop for furniture, especially in a post-COVID-19 world.”
In addition to Mucker Capital, the new funding comes from more than 40 investors, including Unlock Venture Partners, UpHonest Capital, Reimagined Ventures, Social Starts, Wavemaker, Cybernaut Ventures, K2VC, Plum Ventures, as well as Los Angeles-based consumer-tech entrepreneurs including George Ruan (Honey), Eddy Lu (GOAT), Nick Green (Thrive Market), Ariel Kaye (Parachute), Dan Dinh (TSM), Mark Geller (Happy Returns), Raaja Nemani and Chris Toy (MarketerHire), and Patrick Schwarzenegger.
Launched by Co-Founders Terry Lin and Jiake Liu, Outer made its debut on SharkTank in 2019 with carefully crafted, premium materials and sustainably-minded pieces built to last. Outer Sofa products are weather tolerant and feature all-weather wicker, UV-resistant materials and the patent-pending OuterShell® which provides integrated coverage for cushions. The brand is a committed partner in supporting to advance environmental non-profits worldwide. Their factory is family-owned and Outer takes pride in the relationships with their team who so carefully craft their products. Outer ensures fair wages, safe work environments and benefits for employees and their families.
On a mission to bring life outside, Outer has completely reinvented the way outdoor furniture is made, sold, and enjoyed. The direct-to-consumer brand, based in California, creates sophisticated, durable, and versatile pieces expertly designed and carefully crafted from the highest-quality, eco-friendly materials. Outer promotes conscious design for a better world and is building a community of backyard enthusiasts. They take an educational, innovative approach to the customer experience, beginning with their Neighborhood Showrooms, which transports the traditional brick-and-mortar shopping model into their customer’s backyards. Shoppers can experience the Outer sofa in person in a real-life backyard and connect with others in the Outer community. The brand is currently exploring new pieces to expand their product line, all with the core tenets of eco-consciousness, durability, and versatile styling. For more information, please visit or follow along on Instagram.