Photo: Business Insider
The cofounders of Hotwire, Gregg Brockway and Eric Grosse, are together again for a new startup, thanks to Brockway’s wife, Anna.It’s an online furniture-consignment store called Chairish launching today.
The idea for came after Brockway left his other travel startup, TripIt, which was acquired by Concur Technologies in 2011 for $120 million.
He and Anna moved to a new home and some of their furniture didn’t fit. It was too nice to sell on Craigslist and it was too much of a hassle to schlep it to a consignment store.
His old Hotwire friend, Grosse, was looking for his next gig, working as an entrepreneur-in-residence for Matrix Partners.
At the urging of Anna, an interior designer, and with her as a cofounder, the Hotwire team gave birth to a high-end, online consignment furniture store.
Chairish is no Craigslist. It’s choosy about the furniture it accepts into its store. It also edits photos, writes product descriptions, and arranges deliveries for 20% fee.
For a 40% fee, it will come to your house and do all the work, including storing the furniture off site.
Chairish hopes to as addictive for interior-design buffs as ModCloth is for vintage fashionistas.
It’s likely to be a success. The home-furnishings market is huge, some $90 billion, says Grosse. Plus, the two have come a long way since Hotwire, which they sold to IAC in 2003 for $663 million. (Hotwire is now part of IAC spinoff Expedia.)
“Hotwire was a fantastic experience,” says Brockway. “We raised $75 million in its first round, hired 100 people and grew as quickly as we could. It was complete and utter chaos.”
In contrast, Chairish is self-funded, has fewer than 10 employees, and has caused “a lot less drama.”
The home-furnishings and -decoration market is hot. Houzz, a site for planning redecoration and renovation projects, raised $35 million last month. And Fab and One Kings Lane have collectively raised hundreds of millions of dollars.