US-based Houzz Inc, online community and marketplace for homeowners and decoration professionals has partnered with Times Bridge to expand its presence in India. As part of the deal, Houzz’s content will be integrated in Times Group’s digital properties, including its flagship Times of India.
Houzz had launched its platform for India in January 2017, and the company says that its local community has grown 50 percent since then, with 80,000 home professionals across 60 categories, including architects, interior designers and product designers.
In June 2017, Houzz announced the close of a $400 million Series E financing led by ICONIQ Capital, with participation from Wellington Management Company, Sequoia, Zeev Ventures and GGV Capital, among others, to accelerate the growth of the company’s platform and business around the world. Since July 2014, Houzz has launched localized platforms in 14 countries outside of the US to meet demand from both homeowners and home professionals. In 2013, prior to the company’s international expansion, less than 30 percent of new Houzz users came from outside the US. Today, over 50 percent of new Houzz users come from outside the US, the company said in a statement.
In India, the Palo Alto-based startup competes with companies like Livspace, Renomania, Foyr, Urban Ladder, Pepperfry- to name a few. In June, Online home interior design and execution platform Livspace said that it will invest Rs 25 crore to expand its flagship design centers. In 2016, Home decor and furniture e-tailer Urban Ladder was testing ‘Urban Interiors’, an interior designing service that helps customers to furnish their homes through assistance from independent designers. The designer will help customers browse products and create custom interiors according to their requirements. In 2015, Sundeep Malhotra, who stepped down as CEO of Homeshop 18, launched an interior design and home design platform called Renomania.
Times Bridge (earlier known as Times Global) is the Times Group’s international investments and partnerships division and its existing portfolio of investments and partnerships include Airbnb, Coursera, Uber, Vice, Huffington Post, Business Insider, Gizmodo, Lifehacker, PC Mag, Advertising Age, Goal, Tech Radar and Techpost.
In June, Times Bridge appointed Thane Richard as head of content strategy to shape content strategy for Times Bridge’s media businesses and attract more media companies to the Indian market. In November 2016, Twitter’s former India head Rishi Jaitly had joined Times Bridge as its CEO.