On this week's episode of the Just Go Grind podcast, hear from Michael Barlow, co-founder and CEO of Fernish. Fernish is a premium furniture rental service offering flexibility for those who don't want to be weighed down by owning.

Key takeaways:

  • Founded in 2017, Fernish was inspired by a pain point Barlow experienced: the drag of renting space to store furniture and decor during his multiple and frequent moves.
  • Fernish raised $30 million in a seed round led by Real Estate Technology (RET) Ventures in 2019. (In May, this year, the company raised $15 million in a Series A round led by Khosla Ventures.)
  • A co-founder proved critical for Barlow for many reasons, but especially for emotional support and for raising capital because potential investors see complimentary strengths in the founders.
  • Participating in the program at TechStars proved extremely useful for Fernish founders to learn a lot about how to scale a business and zero in on the company's focus.
  • Barlow prioritizes people operations and the personnel management side to strengthen company culture, so people are inspired to work and stay with the company.
  • Barlow says Fernish is proud to be based in L.A. and hire from the growing pool of Angeleno talent.
Read more Show less

Americans locked out of the workplace have been remaking their home offices by adding desks, plants and wall hangings. Some of it so that they look a little more slick on Zoom calls.

The new interest in a beautiful home office has been a boon to furniture services like Fernish, which sells itself as an affordable option to upscaling your home. The rental service recently closed on a $15 million Series A led by Kosla Ventures, alongside other top investors including Scott Cook (founder of Intuit), Eytan Elbaz (founder of Scopely), and Jeff Wilke (Amazon's CEO of Worldwide Consumer), and Spencer Rascoff (founder of Zillow and dot.LA).

Read more Show less

Jiake Liu is the founder of a startup outdoor furniture company, but lately he feels like he's running a second company one that's helping supply local hospitals with thousands of protective masks and, in the process, rallying Los Angeles' tech community.

Liu started SoCal Tech for Hospitals in early March with the goal of raising $60,000 to purchase 30,000 masks for hospitals facing shortages. He's now helped raise nearly $200,000, delivered 50,000 hospital-grade masks and is looking to up the ante with the region's vast tech community to do good beyond the pandemic.

Read more Show less