Online furniture retailer FabFurnish has moved from being a furniture marketplace to a “content-driven” platform for discovery and sale of curated products, the company announced today. It has tied up with interior designers Aprajita Suri Davar and Tanuj Ahuja and initiated content partnerships. The company claims that it will engage with users weekly through feature stories, curated brand and designer shops. It is not clear yet whether the company will continue to provide its traditional decor listings along with the curated looks, or if it plans to move to a curated looks- only marketplace.
FabFurnish cofounder Ankita Dabas said that Indian users were looking home and interior design online, which led them to curate products from their catalog. Dabas added that this will drive the company’s revenues, with FabFurnish expected to close the year at Rs 500 crore (~ $75 million).
The curated marketplace called FabDesigns showcases a collection of home decor items clubbed together as a “look”. It lists designers and curators like A Simple Plan, Savio and Rupa, FabFurnish’s internal decor team, Souk, Narayan Moorthy & Associates, MyBeautifulLife etc., where different spaces of a house (outdoor included) like the living room, dining, kitchen and bedroom are customised. It also lists an online decor magazine called Fab Living, whose second edition (April to June 2015) is now live on the website. Its traditional furniture listings are also currently live on the platform.
The company has strengthened its teams on content, design, marketing and technology and is looking to hire a CTO and marketing manager. It claims to have an assortment of 100,000 items and plans to add its catalog across segments and introduce international brands. It also claims that it will add 3D visualisations and ‘designer on call’ features by the end of this year.
Founders step down
In July, FabFurnish co-founders Vikram Chopra and Mehul Agrawal stepped down from daily responsibilities, while senior directors Ashish Garg and Ankita Dabas took over Chopra and Agarwal’s roles. Chopra and Agrawal would continue as advisors at FabFurnish. Then, the company had said that it had restructured its senior management in order to address its work culture and organisational composition and had plans to expand its online presence.
Launch of FabOne
In March this year, the Rocket Internet-backed FabFurnish launched a shipping solutions provider called FabOne. Then, FabFurnish was to invest $15 million over the next 6-9 months to expand FabOne. Mehul Agrawal had said then that the logistics arm would “cut down on delivery cost and to ensure a greater customer experience.”
30% traffic from Tier II and III cities
It’s worth noting that Vikram Chopra had told Medianama, earlier this year, that 30% of their sales came from Tier II and III cities and the number was increasing. Since reach of third-party courier companies was still limited in these centres, the decision to launch an in-house logistics arm seemed like the next best alternative.
– With the evolution of FabFurnish to a content driven marketplace, it now competes directly with the likes of Foyr, which is a platform that lets users customize and buy furniture and home decor on both, desktop and its mobile app. The platform also offers users with a selection of pre designed rooms to pick from for their homes.
– In May, personalised home furnishings provider Livspace acquired the curated online network of interior designers Dwll.in for an undisclosed amount, a month after it acquired the design community and marketplace for consumers and design professionals DezignUp, also for an undisclosed amount.
– In August last year, online furniture retailer Urban Ladder had launched ‘UL Labs’, an initiative to work with digital startups from around the globe to develop solutions in various aspects of furniture buying. Following this, it launched an augmented reality app called Living Spaces in October. In November, the company acqui-hired the Delhi based online marketplace for home decor and furniture products BuyNBrag.
– Other players in the field include PepperFry and Magic Bricks, Snapdeal, Jabong, Flipkart, while aggregators like Junglee, eBay, Quikr, Olx also offer the option to buy furniture online.
Edit: Headline has been changed to correctly represent the news