Palo Alto based online design and home décor startup Houzz Inc is all set to launch operations in India and has appointed Babyoye founder Sanjay Nadkarni the country head.
Nadkarni took charge of his new assignment on the first of August, according to his profile update on professional networking platform Linkedin. He, however, did not respond to e-mail queries sent by Techcircle.in.
Nadkarni had earlier co-founded offline store chain for baby and infant products, Babyoye, along with his wife Arunima Singhdeo. Babyoye was acquired by diversified conglomerate Mahindra Group in 2015.
The Economic Times, which first reported the development, said Nadkarni will initially set up a nucleus team of less than 10 people within the next 6-12 months. “Houzz is entering India before China .This is one of the key geographies identified given the fact that the internet market is largely English speaking, and not vernacular,”Nadkarni told the newspaper
According to information available on its website, Houzz has tied up with close to 3,500-4,500 independent home design professionals before starting its Indian operations.
Founded in February 2009 by husband-wife duo Alan Cohen and Adi Tatarko, Houzz is a platform for home remodeling, improvement, and design and offers curated designs from interior designers and architects. However, it does not have local interior designers listed on the platform.
Houzz, which has raised close to $213 in two rounds till date and is reportedly valued at $2.3 billion, is backed by marquee investors such as Sequoia Capital, DST Global, T Rowe Price Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers and New Enterprise Associates.
One of Houzz’s rivals in India, Jaipur-based Houssup said in a blog in May that the US-based startup may face problems in implementing the curated designs on its website.
“There are hardly any local interior designers listed on Houzz. How feasible is it to trust someone you contacted over a mere social platform and, then, paying for a design made for them by a virtual designer (from someone they haven’t met and discussed their ideas!)?.Although people in India love the designs on Houzz, what shall they do with it when they are far from being implemented,” the blog stated.
Along with Houssup, Houzz is likely to compete with the likes of Livspace, Homelane, Urban Ladder and Pepper Fry in India.
The home décor and design market in India is taking shape. Two days ago, Bangalore based Livspace raised Rs 100 crore (around $15 million) in its third round of funding led by existing investor Bessemer Venture Partners.
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