Exclusive: This Startup for Estate Sales Just Raised $41.5 Million
Everything But The House, a startup that is creating a digital marketplace for estate sales, has raised $41.5 million in new round, Fortune has learned exclusively.
The round, which brings the company’s total funding to $84.5 million, was led by existing investor Greenspring Associates, with participation from returning investors Greycroft Partners and Spark Capital.
Everything But The House was founded in 2008 with the ambition of bring estate sales online. As CEO Andy Nielsen explains, getting rid of old items of a loved one after they die can be a painfully time-consuming and arduous process if done without help. You have to sift through furniture, artwork, and keepsakes to determine what to keep, sell, or donate. Some people simply hold an estate sale after picking out any particularly valuable items for auction or an antique store. Others hire local specialists who do the job for them.
Everything But The House’s employees will come to a customer’s home, go through all the items, and select what should be sold or donated. The startup photographs everything from coins to cars, then prices, stores, and sells the items on its site.
In turn, the startup takes a cut from sales, which Nielsen says averages around 35%. Estate sales on the site range from $15,000 worth of goods to mega-sales in the millions of dollars. Currently, Everything But The House is in 27 cities.
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In 2015, Everything But The House saw $30 million in “gross auction revenue,” according to Nielsen, which indicates total value of things sold on the site, and was double what the company brought in in 2014.
The startup takes anywhere from 35% to 45% as a commission. With Fortune’s back of the napkin math, the company pulled in at least $10 million in revenue in 2015. Nielsen says that the company anticipates revenue will grow 110% in 2016.
Everything But The House is betting that a more centralized approach to estate sales will succeed. But that also depends on attracting potential buyers to its upstart site, which can be a challenge in an era in which there’s no shortage of alternatives to buy used goods.
E-commerce upstarts like One Kings Lane had trouble building growing businesses in the home accessories market, especially with competition from Amazon (AMZN), eBay (EBAY), Wayfair, and Walmart (WMT).
Nielsen agrees that some e-commerce startups have faltered, but he stands by the unit economics of the startup, remarking that the company has not made the mistake of getting ahead of itself for expansion.
“Startups make the mistake of seeing some scale and building ahead,” he says. “We’re not getting ahead of ourselves. We’re building each city when we actually see real business.”