Houzz Makes Play for Singapore's $7.4 Billion Home Decor Market

  • Asia presents `enormous opportunity,' says CEO Adi Tatarko
  • U.S. startup has 40 million monthly unique users globally

Houzz Inc., the Sequoia Capital-backed U.S. startup that connects homeowners with designers and contractors, is bringing its service to Singapore to try and capture a slice of a S$10 billion ($7.4 billion) local remodeling market.

It’s started a dedicated website and mobile app for the affluent city state, the third country it’s entered in the Asia Pacific alongside Australia and Japan. About 150,000 people on the Southeast Asian island of 5.7 million already view its photo-rich site every month, according to Houzz co-founder and Chief Executive Officer Adi Tatarko.

Houzz hopes to provide a discussion forum and online bazaar for Singaporeans looking to improve their homes in one of the world’s most expensive property markets, she said.

“Asia presents an enormous opportunity for Houzz,’’ said Tatarko, who will be speaking at the Tech in Asia conference in Singapore Tuesday. “In many countries across the region, the home renovation industry is largely fragmented, as it was in the U.S. prior to Houzz.’’

From Sideline to Global Player

Palo Alto, California-based Houzz got its start as a side project for Tatarko and husband Alon Cohen in 2009. After the frustrating process of renovating their new house, the couple decided to create an online marketplace for remodeling.

The project started with just 20 parents from their children’s school and a few architects and designers from the Bay Area around San Francisco, according to Tatarko. Today, it has more than 40 million monthly unique users and more than 1 million active home-design professionals from London to Australia. Houzz was valued at $2.3 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 international expansion comes as a number of home-improvement startups –- from Kluje in Singapore to HomeLane and Houzify in India –- have sprung up in recent years. The U.S. home remodeling market alone is worth $300 billion, according to a report by the Joint Center for Housing Studies of Harvard University.

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