Following this dive into my favourite find since coming over to Los Angeles, I loved sitting down with one of CasaOne’s founders Shashank PS. The innovative business he runs with Madhusudan Kagwad, owns two brands, CasaOne which is focused on home furniture rentals, and BureauOne which caters to commercial spaces, and operates out of nine markets – Chicago, New York, Los Angeles, Seattle, the San Francisco Bay Area, New York, New Jersey, Philly, San Diego and Washington DC. It was a joy interviewing Shashank PS, one of the men behind the brand below.
Can you kindly introduce yourself?
I’m the founder and CEO of CasaOne. CasaOne is a furniture rental company — we serve customers that like to access and experience, rather than own furniture, furnishings, and decor. We operate another brand called BureauOne that helps businesses with commercial and office furniture on demand.
Tell us about the vision for your brand?
At CasaOne and BureauOne, we believe that consumers and businesses should be able to access high-quality furniture and furnishings without having to experience the typical challenges associated with furniture ownership, installation, and maintenance. At the same time, furniture remains tremendously under-utilized with approximately 10 million tons of it ending up in a landfill each year in the US alone. We have buy vs rent options for homes and cars and the future of furniture will be similar. Rentals are trending up as people, especially millennials, move more often for work or otherwise, and are comfortable with the notion of not owning material things.
How did you come up with the concept for your company?
As an Entrepreneur-In-Residence at the venture capital firm Accel, I was working on an idea in the PropTech space. Through the course of my due diligence, I spoke to several principals in real estate, both commercial and residential. In the last decade, Commercial Real Estate has undergone a transformation where long leases were the norm. Flexible and shorter-term leases have become very popular with tenants, large and small. The rapid adoption of co-working accelerated this transformation. Consequently, we have seen models such as co-living emerge in Residential Real Estate. These formats require a fairly significant upfront investment in FF&E (furniture, fixtures, and equipment). After observing this trend, it seemed opportune to bet that businesses and individuals would want to access/experience furniture as opposed to owning furniture and being beholden to it.
How do you approach sustainability/transparency within your brand?
CasaOne and BureauOne convert a conventionally single-use category like furniture into a utility that is fully utilized until the end of its natural life. Hence, sustainability is woven into the very fabric of our product and service. It is not an afterthought.
What more do you think customers are looking for these days beyond good design? Or do you think that design is really all that matters?
Customers are looking for functionality/utility, good design options with a broad and deep assortment, and affordability. Renting furniture comes with the added benefit of flexibility of monthly rentals as opposed to paying upfront. As consumers and businesses are more environmentally conscious, it becomes the right choice for them.
What were the biggest challenges you faced when trying to grow Casa One?
CasaOne lies at the intersection of furniture and logistics. Providing a great customer experience on both fronts is something we strive to do every day. We have invested in building both the technology and operations infrastructure to achieve this.
Casa One is such a unique model – who are your target customers?
At CasaOne, we work with consumers and customers across property management, corporate housing, and hospitality. The focus segment for BureauOne is commercial and office tenants and landlords.
What do you hope for, for the future of your business?
Our product resonates in all major global markets given the increased mobility of businesses and individuals. We are focused on building a global platform to help our customers experience furniture in much the same way they subscribe to and experience entertainment, ride-sharing or rent homes and offices.