Home design website sets up in Singapore

Houzz, the US start-up that connects homeowners with designers and contractors, has brought its service to Singapore to try and capture a slice of a $10 billion local remodelling market.

It has started a dedicated website and mobile app for Singapore, the third country it has entered in the Asia-Pacific, after Australia and Japan. About 150,000 people in Singapore already view its photo-rich site every month, said Houzz co-founder and CEO Adi Tatarko.

Houzz, backed by Sequoia Capital, hopes to provide a discussion forum and online bazaar for Singaporeans looking to improve their homes, she said.

California-based Houzz started as a side project for Ms Tatarko and her husband, Mr Alon Cohen, in 2009. After the frustrating process of renovating their new house, the couple decided to create an online marketplace for remodelling.

The project started with 20 parents from their children's school and a few architects and designers, said Ms Tatarko.

Today, it has more than 40 million monthly unique users and over a million active home design professionals from London to Australia.

Houzz was valued at US$2.3 billion (S$3.1 billion) in a September 2014 funding round, according to data-tracker CB Insights. It has offices in London, Berlin, Sydney, Moscow and Tokyo.

Houzz's global expansion comes as a number of home-improvement start-ups, including Kluje in Singapore, have sprung up in recent years. The US home remodelling market alone is worth US$300 billion, says a report by the Joint Centre for Housing Studies of Harvard University.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on April 13, 2016, with the headline 'Home design website sets up in Singapore'. Print Edition | Subscribe