Cityfurnish, a Gurgaon-based furniture rental startup, has today announced closure of a seed round. The investment has come in from Brand Capital, an investment arm of Bennett, Coleman and Co. — the media conglomerate which runs The Times Of India among other popular print media properties.
Along with Brand Capital, this funding round also saw the participation of existing investors of the company. With support from Brand Capital, Cityfurnish will advertise its brand and offerings through various media publications of Bennett, Coleman & Co Ltd, which operates as Times Group.
Interestingly, this is yet another example of new trend which has lately emerged. Media companies like brand Capital have lately been acquiring strategic stakes in startups and even growth-stage companies, in exchange for their advertising and digital media expertise. While companies have to give a modest equity, they get huge advertising exposure in return, for virtually no cost.
This funding seems to be a significant step for CityFurnish. It now seeks to increase its footprint to 6 metro and tier one cities and to become a sought after brand in premium lifestyle products rental space.
Currently, the company is operating in Gurgaon, Delhi and Bangalore, with planned fresh launches in Pune and Mumbai. It aims to revolutionise the rental industry in India by making renting affordable and easy.
It offers a variety of home furniture and furnishing on affordable monthly rental plans. It has also launched a new category of exercise equipment recently.
Commenting about the investment, Neerav Jain, Founding Director of Cityfurnish said,
We are happy and excited about our new association with Times Group. We intend to leverage their ability to build brands through their prestigious advertising channels. We foresee a new elevated status for our brand, which shall help us expand faster in new cities. We want to become a one-stop solution for premium lifestyle products on rent.
Earlier, the company had raised an undisclosed amount of funding from Citrus Pay’s Co-Founder Jitendra Gupta. The money was used to strengthen team, improve product management and order fulfilment. At that time, it claimed to be growing 70-80% month on month.
It has also made more than 10 partnerships with Industry partners like OYO and Grabhouse. It is also targeting startups through special office furnishing offers.
The rental market in India is still in a nascent stage with unorganised vendors and payment networks aplenty. Lately, many startups have surfaced in this space aiming to change the way it works. In this space, Cityfurnish will be competing against the likes of Furlenco, Rentongo, Rentomojo etc.