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Home improvement platform Houzz enters Singapore, its second Asian market

TechCrunch TechCrunch 11/04/2016 Catherine Shu

Houzz, the home decorating and renovation platform with a unicorn valuation, has launched a site and apps for Singapore, its second Asian market after Japan.

Based in Palo Alto, Houzz raised a $165 million Series D round at the end of 2014 earmarked for expanding overseas, bringing its total funding to about $213.6 million. The seven-year-old startup opened its Tokyo office almost exactly 12 months ago.

In addition to Tokyo and Singapore, Houzz also has international offices in London, Berlin, Sydney, and Moscow.

CEO Adi Tatarko says the company decided to localize for Singapore because its platform was already doing well there, with 150,000 monthly users and listings from 3,000 service providers. Designs from local users have also proven popular among Houzz members in other countries, who save photos to their “ideabooks.”

“There are two main criteria we look at when evaluating new markets for Houzz: one is a strong local demand for the Houzz offering and the second is demand from the global Houzz community in a market’s design aesthetic and expertise,” Tatarko told TechCrunch in an email interview. “Both Japan and Singapore met this criteria.”

In Singapore, Houzz localized by adapting its language (for example, writing “service yard” instead of “laundry,” and adding new categories, including one for Peranakan-style homes. Worldwide, the company now claims 40 million monthly unique visitors, with listings for more than one million professionals, such as architects and interior designers. In addition to looking at reviews for potential providers, people who are planning a home project can also browse inspiration photos and buy items listed on the site’s marketplace.

Houzz hasn’t disclosed what countries it will expand into next and whether it plans to grow by making acquisitions. India, however, is a strong potential market. Several home decorating startups have recently raised venture capital there, but the space is still fragmented—a problem Houzz’s business model was created to solve.

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