Glasgow-based Houseology.com has announced it is seeking £1m investment via crowdfunding platform Seedrs.com, offering the public an opportunity to share in the success of its online interior design and luxury homeware business, whose board of directors includes Sir Terry Leahy, former CEO, Tesco, Bob Willett, former CIO, Best Buy, Bill Dobbie founder, Iomart, Jill Little former strategy director, John Lewis Partnership, and The William Currie Group.
From today, investors will be able to commit any sum starting from £10 in return for an equity share of 10.96% and a range of discounts on purchases. To date, Houseology.com has delivered a CARG of 91% to existing investors over three years. 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 company’s B2B proposition and driving international growth.
Formerly known as Occa Home, the company was founded in 2012 by award-winning interior designer Kate Mooney when she identified a gap in the market for a tech-driven interior design service aimed at simplifying the home design process for her affluent clients. Her business model of opening up her design studio to both consumers and trade via an online portal, complemented by a range of over 200 designer furniture and homeware brands, has generated £8.9m worth of sales to date, a turnover of £3.7m in FY14-15 and more than 30,000 customers in 100 countries.
“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,” comments Sir Terry Leahy. “Our vision is to transform the homewares market in the same way Net a Porter did for fashion, and with Kate’s expertise and our Board’s considerable business experience, we’re confident this crowdfunding opportunity represents a strong investment.”
“We’re offering a unique circle of value online by combining three key elements of the interior design industry in our portal – designer brands, independent interior designers and retail consumers – all within one convenient and customised buying experience,” comments Kate Mooney. “While to date, retail customers have comprised 75% of sales, we see a huge opportunity among small trade customers such as designers and architects who can benefit from access to exclusive product lines and buying leverage that would normally be beyond their reach.”