Online mattress retailer Casper hit on a brilliant idea: buying a mattress is the absolute worst. Nobody wants to spend time on a showroom floor discussing firmness and warranties and not fully understanding why one mattress costs $300 more than another. Then, of course, there's the process of getting it home and into your room. And if you decide it's not quite right several weeks later? You're mostly out of luck with traditional retailers.
It's easy to see why Casper, which offers delivery and a generous return policy, pulled in $100 million in sales within a year of its April 2014 launch.
A company called Burrow took that very successful concept and applied it to couches. The Philadelphia-based startup created a sofa that ships to your door in several boxes and, it claims, can be assembled in under 10 minutes with no tools required.
Right now, the startup has one couch design. Buyers can choose the color and either a two-cushion love seat ($700) or a full three-seat couch ($850). It's stain-resistant and has a hidden power outlet, just in case walking over to the wall is too much of a burden for you.
The couch comes in four boxes, and the company says it can be broken down just as easily as it's assembled. That makes for not only an easier delivery process, but maybe more importantly, the ability to take it with you when you move without needing a team and a U-Haul.
One of the keys that made Casper so successful is its 100-day, no-questions-asked return policy. Burrow has implemented that, too--and it might prove to be even more important to a company that sells couches. While a mattress only has the comfort factor to worry about, a couch is often the centerpiece of a room. It's impossible to know how it will look in your living room until it's actually there. Burrow is aiming to give shoppers enough peace of mind to press the "Order" button.
Burrow was in Y Combinator's summer class, according to TechCrunch. It was founded by Stephen Kuhl and Kabeer Chopra, two MBA students at Wharton.