South Korea’s Ohouse Lands $182M to Add AR to Home Improvement App

South Korea’s Ohouse Lands $182M to Add AR to Home Improvement App

Many individuals turned to do-it-yourself home renovation tasks during the worst of the epidemic when they were stranded at home and desperate for something to do except watch yet another TV show. The DIY home repair industry has expanded so considerably since the house is now a center for business, study, and leisure all at once that it is anticipated to reach $514.9 billion by the end of 2028, up from $333.7 billion in 2021. With its most recent $182 million Series D financing, South Korean firm Bucketplace, which runs the interior design and decoration app OHouse, hopes to capitalize on that trend even more, according to Jay Lee, co-founder, and CEO of the company, in an interview with TechCrunch on Monday.

According to Lee, a later-stage firm, Bucketplace will utilize the current round of investment to expand outside of South Korea and into new markets including Japan, Southeast Asia, and the United States. In order to assist customers to see things like furniture or décor in their own homes, Bucketplace also plans to recruit more tech experts to help build an augmented reality (AR) component for its platform. Following Bucketplace’s recent acquisition of Singapore’s HipVan, an online furniture marketplace, Lee stated that the business will continue to look for acquisition prospects and strategic alliances in Korea and other domestic and international markets.

Eight years ago, a house was just a network of individuals sharing articles on interior design, according to Lee. Interior designers and DIY enthusiasts may upload photographs of their houses to discuss their renovation experiences when the app was launched in 2016. Then, users could browse a variety of postings and buy anything they wanted right from the app. Houzz, which has several online showrooms as well, has a business strategy similar to this one.

According to Lee, the business is now aiming to provide a range of services that cover nearly every aspect of the residential market, including furniture delivery, moving services, garbage can pick up, home remodeling, house repairs, and maintenance. In June of last year, OHouse introduced a service that allows customers to select the day and hour they wish to receive their furniture. In addition, it offers services that connect consumers with more than 5,000 home renovation companies.

Users will submit images of their houses to view how a piece of furniture might appear in the room, although Lee did not provide a release date for OHouse’s AR function. According to Lee, consumers would be able to simply click on it to be sent to the vendors’ website if they wish to purchase the furniture. With 10 million people using the platform each month across the app and website, the venture looks to be expanding quickly, according to the company. Additionally, according to Bucketplace, South Korea has downloaded OHouse more than 20 million times.

Lee refused to comment on Bucketplace’s value, but people with knowledge of the issue claim that Bucketplace raised the Series D round at a post-money valuation of about $1.4 billion (2 trillion KRW). The most recent investment roughly quadrupled the eight-year-old company’s worth, bringing its total funding to approximately $261 million. According to reports, Bucketplace raised its most recent $70 million in November 2020, valued at around $890 million. SoftBank Ventures Asia, Singapore’s Vertex Growth, a venture capital firm supported by Temasek’s sovereign wealth fund, Bond Capital, BRV Capital Management, Korea Development Bank, IMM Investment, and Mirae Asset Capital are among the investors in the Series D round.