Personalised home furnishings provider Livspace has acquired the curated online network of interior designers Dwll.in. This is essentially a talent acquisition, and the co-founders of Dwll.in and its core team will join Livspace. It’s not clear if Livspace has any plans of integrating Dwll’s network on it’s website, and if Dwll will remain an independent entity or not.
Founded in 2013 by Parikshat Hemrajani and Pankaj Poddar, Dwll lists various furniture designs from designers from various cities. Users can log in and contact the designer of their choice. The platform also offers a service where users are matched up with relevant designers for redesigning projects.
For this, users need to create a profile, answer some questions and upload pictures of the rooms they need redesigned. The platform then matches the user with 2 designers based on the user’s requirement, who will then visit the site and submit a proposal for execution. On accepting a proposal, the designers take care of the work, although Dwll claims it continues to provide customer support.
Just last month, Livspace acquired the design community and marketplace for consumers and design professionals, DezignUp, for an undisclosed amount. At the time, the company said this acquisition would help scale its business faster and offer more design choice to homeowners. Post acquisition, the co-founders of DezignUp and its core team joined the Livspace team.
The DezignUp acquisition and now the acquisition of Dwll is a possible indication that Livspace is looking to expand its offerings of customized home furnishings. The design professionals that were part of DesignUp and the interior designers from Dwll, will allow Livspace to offer customers a completely build/design from scratch experience, if they want to.
Livspace funding: Note that in December last year, Livspace raised $4.6 million in a series A round of funding led by Helion Venture Partners and Bessemer Venture Partners, with participation from Jungle Ventures and other Indian investors. The company had mentioned then that it would use the funding to develop new products & technology, strengthen its management team and focus on home design & decor markets in India and Southeast Asia.
Livspace currently focuses on furnishings for living rooms, bedrooms and dining rooms, and allows users to buy furniture like sofas, tables, beds, wardrobes, storage furniture and dining tables along with pre-created setups for various rooms. The platform claims to have tie-ups with large real-estate developers to offer pre-created interior designs including ready-to-install furnishings to customers who buy apartments from these developers. On purchase, goods are delivered in a few weeks, with the company taking care of the last mile installation.
Developments in home decor/design segment:
– Last month, Urban Ladder raised $50 million Series C round of funding led by Sequoia Capital with participation from TR Capital and existing investors Steadview Capital, Kalaari Capital and SAIF Partners. Subsequently, it raised an undisclosed amount of funding from Anand Rajaraman and Venky Harinarayan the same month.
– In August last year, 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.
– Furniture and home decor marketplace Pepperfry had raised $15 from Bertelsmann India Investments (BII), the Indian investment arm of the German media conglomerate Bertelsmann and existing investor Norwest Venture Partners (NVP) in May last year. The company claimed to have tied-up with more than 1,000 SMEs and artisans to offer more than 50,000 products on the site.
– Times Business Solutions’ property listing portal MagicBricks, also has its own Home Decor section, to offer information and local resources related to home furnishing and home improvement. The company had launched the section in May 2012, and had relaunched it again in December the same year.