On average, Americans spend more than 90% of their time indoors. According to a recent survey, about 82 percent of American homeowners are more interested in renovating their outdoor living spaces than they were before the pandemic, according to Outer co-founder and CEO Jiake Liu.
Furthermore, since the outbreak of COVID-19, about 54% of homeowners have made at least one backyard improvement, while millennials, the largest house-buying group now, are willing to take fewer square feet inside, or even give up a bedroom, in exchange for a little bit of outdoor space, according to Liu.
COVID-19 triggered a “flight from density” in the United States, with millions of people fleeing from big cities to the suburbs to avoid the coronavirus pandemic. As a result of this trend, the outdoor entertainment industry now has more market opportunities.
Outer, a Santa Monica-based direct-to-consumer (D2C) outdoor furniture startup, announced today that it has received $50 million in Series B funding to help more people around the world return to the outdoors. CEO Liu and Chief Design Officer Terry Lin founded the company in 2019.
Kathy Xu, the founder of Capital Today, led the Series B round, which included Tribe Capital, C Ventures, and Upfront Ventures. Sequoia Capital China, Mucker Capital, Mantis VC, and Reimagined Ventures were among the existing investors in the round.
Outer has now raised $65 million in total funding, eight months after raising $10.5 million in a Series a round in January. According to Liu, the new funding will be used to strengthen the company’s position in the outdoor living industry by developing new sustainable materials, establishing an environmentally friendly supply chain, and expanding its product offering and community.
Outer is currently hiring for a variety of positions in order to enter the global market this year, and Liu told TechCrunch that the company will announce a strategic international launch in October.
“We’re developing new, environmentally friendly fabrics, plastics, and concrete to replace the industry standards that currently pollute our environment,” Liu explained. He explained that the company’s efforts in sustainable materials aren’t limited to recycled plastics; it’s also working toward carbon neutrality, with the goal of becoming carbon negative in the future.
“From the start, the Outer team has insisted on putting sustainability first. Terry and his team have created new fabrics and environmentally friendly designs to ensure that durability does not come at the expense of environmental stewardship. Capital today’s founder Kathy Xu said, “The team is developing sustainable fabrics, plastics, and concrete that will become the new industry gold standard.”