real estate technology ventures

real estate technology ventures

Six months after announcing bold plans to renovate the derelict Broadway Trade Center building, it appears metaverse startup Emcee won’t turn the aging 1.1 million square-foot property into a “tech hub” any time soon.

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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.
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