Furniture rental startup Føerni launches in Hong Kong

Hong Kong: Furniture rental subscription service startup Føerni has launched in Hong Kong, as it seeks to disrupt the market by providing high-quality, modern furniture at an affordable price with flexible lease options ranging from between three and 18 months. 

The concept, which launched officially on 15 July, is the second entrepreneurial venture in the space for its German founder, Pauline Wetzer, who co-founded co-living brand We R Urban in 2017. That was acquired a year later by Singapore-based co-living company Hmlet, which offers customisable, furnished short-term rentals and serviced apartments across the APAC region.

At the time of launching, Føerni offered 90 different types of furnishing from a number of well-respected global brands, conceived by renowned designers from across Europe. Its online catalogue also features designer and electronic appliances, which can be rented for up to 18 months with no deposit required, to go towards designing the ideal short-term rental.

The service, believed to be the first of its kind in Hong Kong, is being seen as ideal either for landlords seeking to stage their units for display for a lease option as short as one month or renters who want to rent furniture on a transient basis and pay upfront with a more cost-effective monthly subscription plan.

Wetzer is keen to promote Føerni as an eco-friendly offering to stem the culture of ‘fast furniture’, where consumers will frequently redecorate their spaces and recycle their furnishings on a whim, perhaps if it is not of the highest quality. Its website claims that each item is vetted according to stringent quality standards, as well as professionally cleaned, to maximise the products’ lifetime and reduce furniture waste in an economical way.

She told The South China Morning Post: “By offering well-made furniture that can be refurbished, withstand multiple owners as well as look fresh from home to home, Foerni is helping to reduce the waste often associated with fast furniture, only a fraction of which is recycled.

“We enable subscribers to say ‘no’ to fast furniture, and instead give them access to high-quality products, which we make affordable for them through the monthly payments,” she added.

As the world adapts to a more flexible, remote working model, the startup believes it can capitalise on this shift and position itself as an attractive option for temporary office solutions at home. This is especially relevant for young Gen Z and millennial professionals as the gig economy takes hold on society.

Wetzer told Luxe Living Asia: “Furniture should adapt to people’s lives, not the other way around. With Føerni, subscribers rent furniture, but own flexibility.”