*posted via techcrunch
Houzz is one of those Silicon Valley startups you don’t hear all that much about, but the company is quickly disrupting the $300 billion home remodeling market by providing homeowners with inspiration for their projects and connecting them with the designers, architects and contractors who can turn their ideas into reality.
On January 29th, Houzz announced that it has raised a $35 million Series C round led by New Enterprise Associates (NEA) and GGV Capital, with participation from Sequoia Capital, Comcast Ventures, Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers and Yammer founder David Sacks.
The company previously raised a $2 million Series A round led by Oren Zeev in 2010 and a $11.6 million series B round led by Sequoia in 2011. The service, the Houzz team also announced today, grew more than 450 percent in the last year and now sees over 12 million unique users!
As Houzz co-founder and CEO Adi Tatarko told me earlier this week, the company plans to use the new influx of capital to expand its team and hire additional engineering and design talent. Houzz, she told me, will continue to add more layers and technologies to its product and expand both its mobile and web product in the coming months. “In order to transform the entire [home remodeling] industry, there is a lot to do,” she told me. What Houzz won’t do anytime soon, though, is to branch out to other real estate-related areas. The remodeling industry itself is so big and such an underserved market, Tatarko said, that the team plans to squarely focus on this business for now.
“I found Houzz as I was remodeling my own home,” said David Sacks, the Yammer founder who probably has enough money for a very nice home remodel after selling his company to Microsoft last year, in a statement today. “They’ve built an amazing product and technology platform that I love using. The company has solidified itself as the leading player and chief disruptor in the $300 billion home remodeling and design industry. I’m delighted to join an amazing group of investors like Alfred Lin, Oren Zeev, Hany Nada, Paul Hsiao and Mary Meeker.”
In addition to the new funding round, Houzz also announced the launch of its Pro+ platform for the professionals that use the service, including the large community of architects, designers, artists and contractors that use the service both to discuss design ideas and to find new clients. Currently, there are about 160,000 professionals listed on the service. These listing will remain free, but the Pro+ platform will now also allow professionals to highlight their work on the service. For an annual fee, professionals will be able to pick certain markets and categories where their work will be featured, with the annual price depending on the number of markets and categories they want to be featured in.
The Pro+ service is currently only available in a select number of metro areas, but the Houzz team plans to expand this service to all of the U.S. soon.