• Home staging and furniture sales startup Guest House has announced a $ 3 million funding round.
  • Guest House transforms a staged house into a furniture market and also operates an e-commerce site.
  • CEO and Founder Alex Ryden walked us through the pitch deck the company used to raise funds.
  • See more stories on the Insider business page.

Guest House, a Denver-based company that combines home staging for realtors with online and in-person retail, announced Tuesday it has raised a $ 3 million funding round.

The round was led by Range Ventures, a recently launched fund that focuses on businesses in the Colorado area, and included funding from 87 Capital, Rucker Park Capital and Ludlow Ventures.

This is the first adventure cycle for Guest House, which tech world veteran Alex Ryden founded in 2017. Now a tech-based home staging company, it started out as a retail experiment. launched in Ryden’s own house

Ryden, at the time, ran a men’s bags and backpacks business called Age Carriers and had just moved into a new home. Frustrated with traditional retail and looking for another way to sell her bags, Ryden decided to turn the first floor of her house into a weekend storefront, asking interested shoppers to check out the bags in his house.

Ryden told Insider that the founding of Guest House was a “happy accident.” Her weekend shoppers started asking if they could buy the furniture for the house, which prompted Ryden to trade in her own furniture for things people could buy from brands like Burrow and Poly and Bark.

Friends of real estate agents encouraged him to consider outfitting the properties they were selling.

“They said ‘Why don’t you do what you do at home inside our homes – and we’ll pay you to do it?’ “said Ryden.

Home staging is the process of furnishing a house just for sale, in the hope that real examples of how the house could be furnished will lead to a higher sale value and a faster sale. Research of the National Association of Real Estate Agents shows that 44% of buying agents say staging a home increases the size of a potential offer, and 53% of selling agents say it leads to a faster sale.

Guest House now offers home staging services, starting at $ 1,050 per month, in four locations: Boulder, Denver, Colorado Springs and San Diego, California. The house is staged by an interior designer, and free professional photography is included in the cost of the staging. The company offers Matterport video tours and 3D scans for an additional cost.

The houses furnished by Guest House become a kind of retail showcase: anyone who visits in person can use a QR code to purchase items they see. The buyer can go even further and, with a single QR code, decide to purchase all the furniture in the house. Furniture is sourced from large retailers like Crate & Barrel, direct selling brands like Joybird, and small local artisans and artists.

The company buys wholesale from large retailers at a discount, while small artisans can showcase their work in guesthouse projects on consignment.

“Last year we staged a few hundred homes, in a way it’s the same as opening storefronts,” Ryden told Insider. “The business model is that we get paid to open stores.”

The company also has an e-commerce component: reselling rarely used staged furniture for a discount proportional to the number of houses in which the furniture has been staged. This market place is available throughout the United States.

The company has just expanded to San Diego and plans to continue to grow using funds from this round of venture capital. Ryden said the seeded company could have continued without raising funds, but Guest House’s growth goals meant it had to bring in outside capital.

“In the long term, do we want to be a successful regional company or do we want to change an industry? Ryden told Insider.

See the Guest House pitch deck used to raise his first tower below.



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