Nine Four is excited to announce our latest follow-on investment in Branch Furniture’s $10M Series A led by Springdale Ventures, with participation from Agya Ventures, Alate Partners, Maywic, Relay Ventures, RRE Ventures, and Super Angel, among others. The new infusion of capital will drive Branch into its next phase of growth through an omni-channel sales effort, new product launches, increased inventory financing, all while optimizing its supply chain. Here is a bit more about the business, opportunity, and why we invested.
Nine Four Investor Sophia Ghadamian has known Branch’s Co-Founders since their early days. Verity (COO) was a classmate of hers at Columbia Business School, and pitched her the company after their Entrepreneurial Law class one day. Sophia knew the team was onto something and brought in the rest of the Nine Four team. After digging in, we submitted a term sheet and were fortunate to lead the $2.4M Seed round.
Branch was born out of Greg’s (CEO) exposure to the extreme cost, complication, and general confusion associated with procuring high-quality office furniture at Oxford Properties and Breather. After noticing that countless companies were paying an arm and a leg for furniture that took far too long to arrive, with no discernable justification for the cost or complicated process, he knew there had to be a better way. The two options – “fast furniture” from the likes of Ikea and Amazon (i.e. easy access, great prices, poor quality and service) or “contract furniture” from manufacturers like Steelcase, Knoll, and Herman Miller (i.e. great quality, inconvenient, off the charts prices) – weren’t cutting it. That’s when he left Breather to found Branch, a solution that would offer the best of both worlds – speed, value, convenience, flexibility, quality, and service.
Branch was launched in 2019 as a Direct-to-Enterprise, vertically integrated office furniture company. Branch’s goal is to simplify and streamline the office furniture purchase process, provide curated search, online purchasing, fast delivery and assembly, inventory management, and hassle-free pick up and refurbishment for businesses like Breather, Cargo, and Tumblr, among others. The result is accessible and beautiful, high-quality furniture, for an affordable price.
As we all know, the world had other plans, and Branch’s demand for enterprise office furniture was hit hard. After a year into high growth and nearly 100 installations, the office segment all but shut down. It was a matter of life or death for the company, and time for a pivot. In the midst of uncertainty, the Branch team, led by Co-Founders Greg, Verity, and Sib, made the decision to supplement their B2B offerings with a focus on D2C, and the shift to building the right working environment for the home.
The move to D2C is not an easy one. Everything from product to supply chain to shipping to pricing to messaging to customer acquisition strategy – and everything in between – had to change. The team was up for the challenge and after a lot of hard work, saw revenue jump significantly above pre-COVID levels soon after in the second half of 2020. Branch has maintained impressive quarter over quarter growth ever since. The best part? All of this has been completed capital efficiently. The business is focused on growing profitably and has generated $2M of revenue per Branch employee – a testament to the efficiency of the business.
As we learn to live in a world with COVID and people begin to return to the office, we’re seeing the enterprise channel come back with a vengeance. What’s more, the hybrid work environment where companies are having employees split time working from home and in office has been a blessing for Branch. This combination has led to even faster growth acceleration recently. The company’s new two-pronged approach, with both consumer and enterprise revenue streams, even better positions it to tackle the nearly $50B antiquated office furniture space. If the Branch team could achieve all of this success throughout the pandemic with only a few million dollars, we can’t wait to see what they’re able to do with some more resources and cash on their balance sheet!
Congrats again to Greg, Verity, Sib and the entire Branch team! If you’re interested in helping build the future of office furniture, Branch is hiring!