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South Korea’s OHouse lands $128M to add AR to home improvement app – TechCrunch

During the worst days of the pandemic, as people were stuck at home and starving for some form of entertainment beyond streaming yet another TV series, many turned to home improvement projects. With the home now simultaneously a place for work, school and play, the home improvement market has grown so much that it is expected to spread worldwide $514.9 billion by the end of 2028up from $333.7 billion in 2021.

South Korean startup bucket placewho operates a living and furnishing app Ohouse, looks to continue that trend with its recent $182 million Series D round, the startup’s co-founder and CEO Jay Lee said in an interview with TechCrunch on Monday.

As a later-stage company, Bucketplace will use the new cash injection to accelerate its growth in South Korea and expand into new markets like Japan, Southeast Asia and the United States, Lee told TechCrunch. Bucketplace also intends to hire more tech specialists to help develop an augmented reality (AR) feature for its platform, which allows consumers to visualize products such as furniture or decoration in their own homes, Bucketplace says.

The funding comes just months after Bucketplace acquired the Singapore-based online furniture platform HipVanand Lee said the company will continue to seek acquisition opportunities and strategic partnerships in both Korea and overseas markets.

Photo credit: OHouse app

“Eight years ago, OHouse was just a community of people sharing interior design content,” Lee said.

When the app launched in 2016, interior designers and DIYers could post photos of their homes to share their remodeling experiences. Users then viewed a wide range of posts and purchased items they liked directly from the app. Its business model is similar to Houzz, who also have a lot of online showrooms.

Now, the startup aims to offer a variety of services that span almost everything related to housing, from DIY, home repairs and maintenance to furniture delivery, moving services and even a laundry pickup service, Lee told TechCrunch .

Last June, OHouse launched a next-day furniture delivery service that allows users to choose the date and time they want to receive the furniture. In addition, it offers services that help users connect with more than 5,000 home remodeling companies.

Lee didn’t say when he hopes to release OHouse’s AR feature, but users will upload photos of their homes to see what a piece of furniture would look like in the room. When users want to buy the furniture, they can just click on it, which takes them to the seller’s website, Lee said.

The startup appears to be growing rapidly, with 10 million users visiting the platform each month through the app and website, the company says. Bucketplace also claims that OHouse has been downloaded more than 20 million times in South Korea.

Lee declined to comment on Bucketplace’s valuation, but Bucketplace raised the Series D round with a post-money valuation of around $1.4 billion, according to sources familiar with the situation. The latest round, which brings in a total of approximately $261 million, nearly doubled the valuation of the eight-year-old company. Bucket place last Raised $70 million in November 2020 at a valuation of approximately $890 million, as reported.

Series D round investors include SoftBank Ventures Asia, Singapore’s Vertex Growth, a sovereign wealth fund Temasek-backed VC, Bond Capital, BRV Capital Management, Korea Development Bank, IMM Investment and Mirae Asset Capital.

South Korea’s OHouse lands $128M to add AR to home improvement app – TechCrunch Source link South Korea’s OHouse lands $128M to add AR to home improvement app – TechCrunch

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