South Korea’s OHouse lands $182m to add augmented reality to home improvement app

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During the worst days of the pandemic, when people were stuck at home and hungry for some form of entertainment beyond streaming another TV series, many turned to home improvement projects. With the home now a place of work, school and recreation, the home improvement market has grown so significantly that globally it is expected to reach $514.9 billion by the end of 2028compared to $333.7 billion in 2021.

south korean startup bucket placewhich operates a decoration and interior application OHouse, is looking to continue to capitalize on that trend with its latest $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 enter new markets, such as Japan, Southeast Asia and the United States, said Lee at TechCrunch. Bucketplace also intends to hire more tech specialists to help develop augmented reality (AR) functionality on its platform to help consumers visualize products like furniture or decorations in their homes. own home, Bucketplace said.

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 both in Korea and overseas markets.

Picture credits: OHouse app

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

When the app launched in 2016, interior designers and home improvement enthusiasts could post photos of their homes to share their renovation experiences. Users then browsed through a wide selection of posts and purchased the items they liked directly from the app. Its business model is similar to Houzz, which also have a host of online showrooms.

Now, the startup aims to offer a variety of services that encompass nearly everything involved in the residential space, ranging from home improvement, home repairs and maintenance to furniture delivery. , moving services, and even a trash pick-up service, Lee told TechCrunch.

Last June, OHouse launched a next day furniture delivery service, allowing users to choose the date and time they want to receive the furniture. Additionally, it provides services that help users connect with over 5,000 home improvement companies.

Lee didn’t say when he hopes to release OHouse’s AR feature, but it will involve users uploading photos of their homes to see what a piece of furniture would look like in space. If users want to buy the furniture, they can simply click on it, which will take them to the sellers’ website, Lee said.

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

Lee declined to comment on Bucketplace’s valuation, but according to sources familiar with the matter, Bucketplace has raised the Series D round to a post-money valuation of around $1.4 billion (KRW 2 trillion). The latest round, which brings its total raised to around $261 million, nearly doubled the valuation of the eight-year-old company. Bucket place last raised $70 million as of November 2020, at a valuation of around $890 million, as noted.

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

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