Interior design e-tailer Houseology.com has secured £1 million of funding through crowdfunding platform Seedrs.com.
The Glasgow-based startup, which overfunded its investment target, will use the capital to expand its digital one-stop-shop for interior design services and designer homewares.
To date, the company has generated £10 million worth of sales, a turnover of £3.7 million in its most recent financial year, and more than 32,000 customers in 100 countries. Key export markets currently include the United States, Australia and mainland Europe.
Formerly known as Occa-Home, the company offers a unique combination of advanced design-it-yourself technology, which gives time-poor consumers the ability to create bespoke designs for their homes without the need to hire a professional interior designer.
Complemented by the UK’s largest online range of designer furniture and homeware brands, the website also allows trade customers to source an extensive range of designer products and have them despatched in a single delivery from one reliable supplier.
The business is the brainchild of interior designer and founder Kate Mooney, who set up Occa-Home in 2010 when she spotted a gap in the market for an online service that simplified the home design process.
The company is backed by a board of retail stalwarts including former Tesco boss Sir Terry Leahy, Iomart founder Bill Dobbie, former Best Buy CIO Bob Willett, The William Currie Group, and Jill Little, who was merchandising and strategy director at John Lewis.
Mike Welch, founder of online tyre-fitting company Blackcircles, joined Houseology.com’s board as a non-exec director last month.
Crowdfund investors can look forward to an equity share of 11.17% and a range of discounts on purchases. Over the past three years, Houseology.com has delivered a CARG of 91%.
The new capital raised will contribute to delivering the brand’s growth strategy, including broadening its offering of proprietary digital technology and design tools, expanding the its B2B proposition, and driving international growth.
“While to date, retail customers have comprised 75% of sales, we see a huge opportunity among small trade customers including independent interior designers and architects who can benefit from access to exclusive product lines and buying leverage that would normally be beyond their reach,” said Mooney.
Leahy added: “With the interiors sector dominated by mid to low-end players, there is significant room in the higher end of the market for a challenger brand like Houseology.com to grow.
“Our vision is to transform the homewares market in the same way Net-a-Porter or ASOS did for fashion, and with Kate’s expertise and our board’s considerable business experience, we’re confident the business will continue to go from strength to strength.”
The UK homewares sector is worth £11.7 billion and is expected to continue growing, driven by the economic recovery and housing market. Analysts predict online sales will constitute the lion’s share of this growth.