Lauren Goode

Recent Posts by Lauren Goode

Home-Remodeling App Houzz Brings Home $35 Million

Houzz, the home-decorating website with a rap-worthy name, has raised a big chunk of change to further expand the site and its growing mobile apps.

Houzz Art

The Bay Area-based start-up has raised $35 million from existing investor Alfred Lin of Sequoia Capital, and a new group of investors that include Yammer founder David Sacks, Kleiner Perkins’s Mary Meeker, NEA and GGV capital. The funds come just about a year after the company raised $11.6 million in a Series B round.

Houzz co-founder Adi Tatarko says the company plans to put most of the money toward hiring.

Houzz, in case you’re not familiar with the site, is like home porn for those looking for decoration inspiration, or for people who like to build Houzz “ideabooks” and fantasize about one day moving out of a cramped New York City apartment to a place you can actually paint … not that that’s from experience.

It also acts as a marketplace for connecting homeowners with designers and contractors who have posted their own portfolios and compete for jobs. (For a glimpse of the house that inspired Houzz, check out this story.)


In fact, in addition to the funding announcement today, Houzz is formally rolling out a premium service for contractors, called Pro+, where professionals can pay to have their services better marketed on the website.

Houzz claims it has over 160,000 professionals that interact regularly with Houzz consumers, of which there are around 11 million. Currently Houzz is available in most metro areas in the U.S. and Canada, but has been slowly expanding to other parts of the world.

Last month, Houzz released an Android app as well as some interesting statistics about the growth seen on mobile. Year over year, the company saw a 400 percent increase in mobile downloads, topping 5 million, with the majority of mobile activity occurring on iPads. Also, seems I’m not alone in my fantasy home-browsing: Houzz has said 9 o’clock at night is the peak time for Houzz mobile usage.

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I think the NSA has a job to do and we need the NSA. But as (physicist) Robert Oppenheimer said, “When you see something that is technically sweet, you go ahead and do it and argue about what to do about it only after you’ve had your technical success. That is the way it was with the atomic bomb.”

— Phil Zimmerman, PGP inventor and Silent Circle co-founder, in an interview with Om Malik