Jiake Liu is the Co-Founder and CEO of Outer, a forward-thinking, community-driven brand redefining outdoor furniture through comfortable, durable, innovative and eco-friendly products.
Along with his co-founder, Jiake launched Outer in 2019 as a way to redefine the approach to outdoor furniture – both the shopping experience and product offering itself through eco-friendly practices and materials paired with the ability to make both beautiful and durable furniture. Jiake’s vision for Outer is for each customer to live more of life outside and make the experience of being outdoors effortless and more enjoyable. Coming from a tech and software background, Jiake admires the magic of the design industry, specifically the ways in which creating a beautiful piece of furniture can make everyday life more comfortable and pleasant.
Prior to launching Outer, Jiake co-founded ProspectWise, a venture backed startup company with the mission of helping main street small businesses adopt modern software solutions. At ProspectWise, Jiake and his team mobilized thousands of local consultants across the country to physically step foot into neighborhood businesses to help them understand, select and integrate solutions with genuine human touch. Jiake’s experience across the software and tech industries lead him to realize the importance of human touch and the need for various skill sets and backgrounds in a team, which is how he imagined Neighborhood Showrooms, a new type of retail experience that brings the showroom home; Neighborhood Showroom allows potential consumers to experience the Outer Sofa in-person at a real customer’s backyard prior to purchasing.
Jiake holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Computer Engineering from the University of Alabama in Huntsville and currently lives in Santa Monica, California.
What inspired you/your team to create this company?
I am a second time startup founder with a family in outdoor furniture manufacturing. My cofounder was the Head of Furniture Design at Pottery Barn. We shared the vision of reimaging outdoor furniture through the lens of material and design innovation to support the fast rising trend of outdoor living that’s catalyzed by the pandemic, all while rethinking the shopping experience for home goods with our crowdsourced Neighborhood Showroom platform that turns our customers’ backyards into Airbnb-esque showrooms.
What distinguishes your company and product in the market?
We have the world’s first outdoor sofa that’s as comfortable as a bed, as durable as camping gear, and uses proprietary weather/life proof materials that are 100% recyclable. Our patent-pending OuterShell solves the “wet bottom syndrome” that plagues any outdoor furniture that requires bulky rain covers when not in use.