When Chris and Jenny Stanchak moved from Philadelphia to San Diego, they realized how hard it was to fetch a decent price for their old furniture — and how difficult it was to find quality, affordable furniture for their new place.
The husband-and-wife duo launched Loveseat in 2013 as a used furniture marketplace in Southern California.
The couple has since moved to Austin, and in 2020, launched Loveseat.com as an e-commerce site where users in Southern California and Austin can bid on customer-returned furniture or other distressed home goods from major retailers and vendors.
Loveseat’s new business model — think TJ Maxx meets eBay — has impressed investors, too. The startup announced Wednesday that it raised $7 million in a Series A financing round led by Bessemer Venture Partners with participation from angel investors Gokul Rajaram, Gabriel Weinberg and Kal Vepuri.They're Hiring | View 3 JobsLoveseat Online Auctions is Hiring | View 3 Jobs
The pivot to returned inventory comes amidst a boom in online shopping that was accelerated by the pandemic. While many retailers offer free shipping and returns, retailers often absorb those expenses as a loss.
The Stanchaks said up to 30 percent of e-commerce home goods are returned, which costs retailers $32 billion annually — not to mention the environmental costs of shipping cross-country.
“Sustainability is one of our core values as we work to eliminate waste from the supply chain,” Loveseat CEO Chris Stanchak said in a statement. “We are hyper-focused on bringing value to goods that have otherwise been seen as waste in the consumption lifecycle. For this reason, 100 percent of our inventory is sourced from customer returned goods or retail overstock. This massive market opportunity is resonating with our customer base in a big way.”
The platform is a winning proposition for consumers, as well. Although anything is possible in a bidding war, the company says customers typically save 70 percent off the retail price. Thousands of new items are listed on the marketplace each week, with many items starting at $10.
The Stanchaks are well-qualified for this line of work. Chris Stanchak is a veteran in the e-commerce industry and previously founded an online ticket sales company called Ticketleap. Jenny Stanchak was one of the first software engineers at Venmo and now serves as Loveseat’s CTO.
Loveseat will use the new funding to hire executive personnel, expand to every major market in the U.S. and facilitate the company’s transition to a direct-sourcing model. Loveseat currently operates in southern California and Austin, and it plans to open more locations in Texas, Florida and the Bay Area.