bedbathmore

Online home furnishing portal BedBathMore.com has acqui-hired graphic art marketplace Crude Area in an all stock deal. In a statement, the company said that the the entire team of Crude Area has transitioned into BedBathMore.com along with the founders, who now will be a part of the management team. Crude Area will become an independent white label on the portal, offering a wider range of products to its consumers, the statement added.

Following the deal, Shweta Bhandari has been appointed VP of Platform and community and Falguni Agarwal will be the creative director at BedBathMore.com along with other members of the Crude Area team who will be a part of the development and creative teams.

Last month, BedBathmore also bought Homado.com, a marketplace for interior designers to showcase their portfolio, expertise and ideas. With the acquisition Homado.com’s community of close to 3,000 architects and interior designers have been integrated into BedBathMore.

Earlier in 2013, Crude Area had raised an undisclosed amount of investment from the WebChutney founders Siddharth Rao, Sudesh Samaria and Sachin Bhatia, co-founder Make My Trip and CEO, TrulyMadly. Launched in November 2012, Crude Area offers graphic wall arts across various themes like automobiles, food, movies, travel, and landscape among others.

It’s worth noting that Crude Area isn’t crowdsourcing artwork. That is, it isn’t allowing any artist to create their own marketplace on the site and retail their work, and there isn’t any online upload or submission process. CrudeArea appears to be curating its artists from India and abroad, and the company notes in its FAQs that artists can tie-up with the company to feature their artwork on the site on a 50-50 revenue sharing basis. Also, artists will continue to retain rights for the artwork created, even after the purchase.

Competition:

– Bangalore-based online marketplace for fixed furniture HomeLane, raised $4.5 million in funding from Sequoia Capital with participation in individual capacity from Manipal Education and Medical Group’s Ranjan Pai and Manipal Global Education’s Mohandas Pai in February this year.

– PepperFry raised $15 million from Bertelsmann India Investments (BII) and Norwest Venture Partners in May last year. Mumbai-based online interior designing marketplace, Nestopia.com had also secured an undisclosed amount in funding from Century Plywood in the same month.

– German startup incubator Rocket Internet, which operates FabFurnish in India, had closed a $500 million investment from existing investors in July 2013. Post investment, it was looking to launch e-commerce companies in the fashion, general merchandise and furniture sectors in countries like India, Europe, Africa and others. Rocket Internet’s MO has been to introduce successful business models in new markets and aggressively scale them.

– Earlier in April, Bangalore-based online furniture store Urban Ladder raised $50 million in a series C round of funding led by Sequoia Capital with participation from TR Capital and existing investors Steadview Capital, Kalaari Capital and SAIF Partners. The platform will use the funding for expanding to new cities, investing in technology and hiring.