We are pleased to announce that Foundry Venture Capital 2016, L.P. has completed its initial investment in Havenly, Inc. Based in Denver, CO, Havenly is creating a marketplace matching interior designers with clients.
Nearly $60B in annual home furnishing sales are not influenced by an interior designer. The vast majority of people either try to furnish their homes by themselves (which takes a ton of time, conviction and knowledge) or try to rely on “free” in-store design services (which are stuck to a single brand and have misaligned incentives due to commission structures).
Similarly, there is a market of interior designers that is just as frustrated. They don’t have a channel to meet potential clients and have no way to advise on smaller jobs (for instance a single room or two) and still make a decent living. Some estimates believe that there are over 10,000 underutilized designers in this country alone.
There have been several companies that have tried to enter this space, but they either focus on selling home goods directly to the consumer with design as an afterthought, or have tried to disinter-mediate professional designers by either crowdsourcing design or allowing anyone to act as a designer and thus drive down design costs to nearly zero.
This appears to be a situation where two large ecosystems are concurrently frustrated. Our marketplace theme posits that in this case, technology can be the answer to galvanize these two markets and create an interesting business.
Havenly is building a platform to connect professional designers and clients. For one flat fee, a consumer can have a professional designer create several different treatments for their space. Each user has the ability to “shop” different designers that fit their particular aesthetic, as well. Designers create their own profiles on the system and the platform uses proprietary algorithms to help the pairing process as well. Havenly customers and designers can purchase home goods directly from the company and they already have many vendor relationships.
The company was founded by sisters Lee Mayer and Emily Motayed and well as Jesse Dixon. Lee has previously worked at Bankrate, Canon and Bain & Company. Emily has been at American Express and Huron Consulting. Jesse was previously with Walmart.com We were introduced to Havenly through our involvement in FGAngels. The FG Angel syndicate led their seed round.
Havenly is based in Denver, CO and currently has 16 full-time employees. We are stoked to work with the team.