Redefining Indian Homes In Style
Online home design company Livspace’s concept of ‘design entrepreneurs’ is catching up real fast
Livspace, an online home design and renovation startup, was founded in 2012 by tech specialists Ramakant Sharma, Anuj Srivastava and Shagufta Anurag, founder of architectural design consultancy Space Matrix.
Sharma, who was with Myntra before Livspace happened, has a vast understanding of and experience in architecture, design and building product management teams from scratch. He was head of online gaming platform Zapak before Myntra. He holds a B.Tech degree from the IIT Kanpur and an MBA degree in Finance and Marketing from the Indian School of Business, Hyderabad.
Livspace is changing the way people in India design and decorate their homes. With footprints in countries such as Bangkok, Singapore and Milan, the company’s designers in India have the advantage of working with their counterparts in engineering and technology from other countries, to come up with automated and readymade designs after taking the latest international trends and Indian tastes into consideration.
In the last few years, the company has grown phenomenally compared to other established players, thanks to its differential approach to capturing a greater market share. Unlike today’s online furniture retailers that only sell products, Livspace also offers readymade home design solutions and connects customers with interior designers.
The company is set to launch new products at lower prices, enter international markets and introduce software products for interior designers, as it seeks to become the market leader in a small but fast-growing market of online interior design.
Livspace has launched a revolutionary automation platform to integrate e-commerce and on-board interior designers as ‘design entrepreneurs’. So freelance designers from anywhere in the world can work for Livspace, by paying a commission, and can thus get more business in a highly fragmented industry. The company’s ‘design entrepreneur’ concept is fairly new to the industry. So far, only a few companies across the globe have tried out such a business model.
As part of its growth plans, the online design platform has also recently opened four offline design centres in South India and has earmarked Rs 25 crore to add more such design centres across the country.
In December 2014, Livspace raised $4.6 million from venture capital firms Helion Venture Partners, Bessemer Venture Partners and Jungle Ventures. The company claims that it is now profitable in Bangalore, and is recording margins in the range of 40-45 per cent.
Livspace’s business is finding a great connect with consumer’s across most big cities in India. Over 60 per cent of its orders are for ‘doing up’ complete houses, 25 per cent orders comprise single room design, and about 10-15 per cent orders are furniture buys only. Typically, majority of Livspace customer’s own houses worth Rs 80 lakh-Rs 3 crore, and the solutions the company offers its customers are in a range of Rs 7 lakh-Rs 15 lakh.
According to Livspace estimates, the online home design market in India may touch $5 billion within the next five years. With the company barely scratching the surface of the industry, there is an immense scope of growth for it.
Growth potential: Online home design market pegged to be at $5 billion in the next five years.