foyr

Hyderabad-based interior design and home decor company Foyr, which raised $1 million from Astarc Ventures earlier this month, has 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.

Started as Renderlogy, a B2B company that connected interior designers to customers, it pivoted to a B2C platform in July this year and currently provides its services in Hyderabad. Founded by Shailesh Goswami, it had also raised Rs 10 crore in a Series A round of funding from Brick Eagle in February. We take a look at the platform:

The platform lets users design their own interiors, although they have to use one of the preset rooms as a base. Users are able to choose among living rooms, dining rooms, bedrooms, foyers, kids rooms etc., on selecting which the website presents options to view it in 3D, customize the design or find products and services used in the design. On clicking on ‘customize the room’, the platform presents a virtual room with all its elements rendered in place.

Users can then click on a product in the virtual room to resize it, delete it, change its color or view other products similar to it. Items can be moved around in the virtual room, and new items can be added through a menu presented on the right. Users can zoom in and out, change the floors and paintings in the room, check prices and pretty much play around anyway they want. The only gripe we had when testing the feature was that the room sometimes zoomed to its blank ‘exterior’ and in some cases things did not move around as expected.

Features we would like to see included in the future are the ability to customize the room size and the ability to account for the user’s existing furniture. Even so, while the platform worked like a charm and we had fun looking around, we aren’t entirely sure its the kind of thing customers will fall back on to see how their rooms will look. The furniture in the room is rendered after all, and doesn’t quite have the same appeal as looking at real furniture.

That brings us to the 3D view. This feature provides users with a 360 degree view of the entire room, as if they were standing in the centre. This, however, also has its limitations, as the images are slightly skewed and nothing can be moved around or added. Interestingly, the company claims to support Oculus Rift as well, and arguably while the experience would be superior when using it, we don’t have a Rift to try it out on (hint hint, Facebook).

Foyr app: The company also provides an Android app with similar features. The app has the advantage of having access to a camera, and the company exploits this well by letting users overlay a piece of furniture they like on a picture of their rooms. However, this image can look quite fake too, and might not give users an ideal idea of what the furniture would look like when actually there. Still, we can’t help but feel that this feature could really be helpful with more polish.

Developments in home decor/design segment:

– 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, for an undisclosed amount. Note that Livspace had 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, in December last year.

– In April, 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 ownHome 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.