Airtree's now in the furniture business after a $2 million investment in online store Brosa

Airtree Ventures managing partner Craig Blair.

Airtree Ventures has just sunk $2 million into furniture marketplace startup Brosa.

Launching almost 18 months ago, Brosa wants to make quality furniture available cheaper online by connecting designers directly with customers.

“It has been an amazing journey and I am really only at the beginning,” Brosa co-founder Ivan Lim says.

“I grew up in a family of interior designers so to follow the profession of my mother, who resides in Brunei, is very special.”

Lim claims the business is growing at a rate of almost 50% month-on-month, he hopes the capital injection will help the startup scale.

Since opening the $60 million fund last year, managing partners Craig Blair and Daniel Petre have been active investors in Australia’s startup scene. The VC’s portfolio also includes rostering software Ento, online cleaning platform TidyMe, online design platform Canva, crowdsourcing platform DesignCrowd, and pet-minding marketplace Pawshake.

“We have invested in furniture e-commerce before. Brosa’s vertically integrated model, rapid process for launching new designs and just in time manufacturing is the future of ecommerce. We are excited to partner with the Brosa team to help scale the business and add new product lines,” Blair said.

Lim said a nightmare experience trying to buy decent furniture drove him to launch Brosa.

“I ended up visiting showroom after showroom over four weekends seeing lots of expensive furniture that actually looked very similar to each other,” he says. “There wasn’t a lot of variety or affordability.”

But while many long for designer furniture, he found sky-high price tags make it unattainable.

“I just couldn’t understand why a sofa that cost $550 to make was getting sold at over $3500 just because a store had a showroom on a particular street,” Lim says. “The fact that people buy replica furniture, cheaper copies of famous furniture designs, just proves the demand for affordable designer pieces.”

It took Lim and his team six months to locate suitable furniture designers who could sell direct to the consumer. The company is now selling more than 400 designer pieces to thousands of customers across Australia.

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