Urbio: The Magic Touch of Urban Small-Space Gardening
Imagine a garden. A garden so beautiful and vivid, bursting with colors and liveliness. But instead of blooming in someone else’s backyard, this garden is right there, in your one-bedroom apartment, front-and-center in your living room, hanging from the walls, or even more - hanging from your ceiling.
No matter how luxurious your private slice of garden heaven may be, Beau Oyler and Jared Aller are here to make your horticulture dream come true.
Fuelled by the idea of revamping dull, small spaces and transforming them into aesthetic wonders, Beau and Jared founded a platform much different from the rest and aptly named it – Urbio.
When Urbio first hit the market, it didn’t scream for attention, but it did emphasize the need to sophisticate small spaces and bring them to life. From modern indoor gardening to developing the most practical small-space solutions of today, Beau and Jared’s revolutionary platform does it all – and in a rare correct use of the superlative, does so amazingly!
How did two seemingly ordinary inventors combine their love for horticulture, design, and practicality to create one of the most inspiring platforms of the day?
Read more here:
Way before Jared and Beau first crossed paths, they were but two aspiring students hung up on the idea of creating something larger than life.
Oakland-born Jared Aller had always strived for business greatness and achievements. Inspired by the idea of designing, engineering, and innovating, Jared first kicked off his professional journey in San Francisco. In 2003 Jared enrolled to study Industrial Design at the Academy of Art University. Three years later, in 2006, he obtained his Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from there. Packed on all the creative knowledge he could get his hands on, Jared wished upon something more. He aspired to put that knowledge into practice and create something of value — something of his own.
Born in Carmel, NYC, Beau Olyer had always nurtured a love for photography, arts, and crafts. His first-ever job was working at a beach surf shop, which is where he developed a fascination for nature and the outdoors. A free spirit at his core, Beau was born a Mormon and even spent some time serving as a bishop at his local congregation. Finding a balance between the strict world imposed by his faith and the need to break free was not the easiest challenge Beau had to overcome.
Beau’s days of isolation came to an end when he enrolled to study Industrial Design at the Academy of Art University in San Francisco, which is where he met his future friend and cofounder, Jared.
After obtaining a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree, Beau showed no initiative in coming home to Carmel. Instead, he put his entire focus on creating a white picket fence life for himself - elsewhere.
Home is Where the Garden Is
Speaking of fences, one of Beau and Jared’s great loves was the one of gardening.
Back in the day gardens only existed in the great outdoors. Yet, the two innovators decided to breathe some life into that concept and introduce, for the first time ever, indoor gardens. Thinking vertically, space and practicality-wise, the duo ultimately developed a solid concept that would enable thousands of garden lovers to bring greenery heaven right in their apartments.
As soon as their uplifting energies and visions collided, Beau and Jared knew exactly what to do next. When the idea of Urbio first saw the light of day, it was a mere speck of a concept of transforming small urban spaces into luscious and heavenly paradises filled with all your favorite blooms and greenery. In the years to come, however, Urbio would grow into one of the most efficient and unique small-space solution providers on the real estate market.
Small Spaces, Big Ideas
Teamed up, Jared and Beau quickly recognized their mutual passion for designing.
Even more, the duo shared a keen love for gardens, horticulture, and small spaces revamped stylishly. Also driven by their desire to develop eco-friendly and sustainable indoor garden solutions, the duo worked tirelessly to develop the platform that they did. Today, Urbio offers modular, cool, and space-efficient planters for even the smallest of indoor spaces.
As most small urban spaces demanded a number of vertical solutions, Urbio’s wall-mounted plant posts offered a whole new way of reusing empty and barren surfaces.
However, way before their platform took the stage and rose to fame, Jared and Beau had to sponsor their urbanistic vision with some decent funding.
The largest portion of the company’s funding arrived upon Jared and Beau’s launch of their project through Kickstarter.com. Their aim was to use the money for Urbio’s national and global expansion.
By 2011, this mission turned fruitful, as the duo received more than decent funding. Not long after, in early 2013, the pair appeared on Shark Tank, after which there was no looking back.
Their appearance on the show blew a stronger wind in their backs, and that same year, Urbio was officially launched.
From there on, Urbio had nowhere to go but up the ladder of business success.
Urbio’s innovative line of products soon appeared in retail stores across America. These products represented the first wall-mounted solutions of their kind. At a time when many were unfamiliar with the concept of vertical gardening, Urbio’s mission took a big swing at the booming market. It found its place among some of the biggest brand names.
A unique take on modern-day space designing, Urbio is all about uniqueness, simplicity, and a hint of greenery. In developing a more in-depth concept on how to run the platform’s solutions better, Jared and Beau thought of designing vertical planters that could stick to walls and ferrous surfaces through the use of advanced magnets.
Overall, Urbio’s systems are designed to deliver a strong sense of estate appeal and aesthetics and they appeal to tiny urban spaces.
Hungry for More
It wasn’t long before Beau and Jared got bored with the already popular concept of Urbio and craved to expand its possibilities. Two years of hard work later, the co-founders launched one of Urbio’s most productive and unique extensions – Perch.
When asked about Perch, both Beau and Jared agree that from the very beginning, their main goal had been to meet every small space’s design needs - and this plan expanded way beyond just urban gardens. In fact, Perch is the kind of sub-platform that offers not just vertical gardening solutions, but also smart design for all sorts of tiny spaces. Be it your office, your closet, your garage, or else, Perch is there to help homeowners make the most of their space. And, it does so with the right touch of finesse and sophistication.
Without jeopardizing Urbio’s initial mission, Perch quickly appealed to a broader audience of homeowners by introducing them to a simplified manufacturing process and eco-friendly materials fit for every space imaginable.
Partnering Up & Funding
To further expand the application of both Urbio and Perch’s solutions, Jared and Beau relied on their social business skills and partnered up with 3M to further develop their products.
Out of this partnership came an array of applicable solutions ideal for micro-apartments, dorms, cubicles, office rooms, classrooms, and else.
Launching Perch gave Jared and Beau a sense of pride and accomplishment. In recognition of their success with Urbio and Perch, the co-founders earned an array of awards and witnessed quite a few funding rounds. The first round came in 2011 when Kickstarter helped Urbio raise a whopping $100,000. Just 40 days later came the second round of start-up funding with $77,434 raised from a total of 818 donors. Following their Shark Tank appearance in early 2013, the founders sought funding of $300,000 whilst offering 12% of equity. Ultimately, the platform struck a deal with Lori Greiner and gained $400,000, offering 15% equity in return.
As for Perch, the sister company raised a total of $221,000 through just one seed round. The latest funding came in February 2021, from a seed round, whereby Urbio was funded by two separate investors, Urban US, and FIT.
Beau, Jared, & The Companies, Today
Today, Urbio and Perch’s co-founders, Jared Aller and Beau Oyler, continue to run a variety of other businesses alongside their two co-created companies. Recently, the pair joined design forces and worked at NewDeal Design and Williams-Sonoma. Moreover, the pair also developed smart products for mogul names such as Nestlé, Netgear, and Clorox.
Currently, Jared and Beau have also immersed themselves in creating yet another major company, Enlisted Designs. This is at a time when Oakland headquartered Urbio and Perch continue thriving in business success.
With a specter of successful companies under their belts and an infinite urge to repurpose the use of small urban spaces globally, Jared and Beau are two grand inventors in a league of their own - playing the entrepreneurial game by their own rules!