Houzz, the online homeowners' community and home design photo database, announced Monday that it had secured a series B $11.6 million funding, from investors Sequoia Capital, Don Katz, Gary Ginsberg, Oren Zeev, and Amos Wilnai.
Alfred Lin of Sequoia Capital will join the board of directors at Houzz. Since the company's last $2 million funding round in 2010, it has increased its online traffic by ten-fold, according to one report.
Houzz contains a large collection of home design professionals' portfolios, where housing enthusiasts' can create social accounts, browse through pictures, find designers or architects in their areas, share tips with other members, and create their own interactive design profiles called "ideabooks," wherein the user can collect photos by theme or style.
As an appreciator of home design, I was very impressed with Houzz upon first encouner, and it's hard to ignore the massive amounts of great press the site has recieved.
Houzz was created after co-founder Adi Tatarko and her husband, and the other co-founder, Alon bought a home and had trouble renovating it, as a source for new home-owners. Ironically, the business has consumed so much of the couple's time, they still haven't finished the rennovation, said Tatarko in her recent interview with AllThingsD.
The Houzz community has over 25,000 networked home design professionals, and the site yields 50 million pages views per month, from professionals and non-professionals alike. Houzz is free and runs on an ad-based business model. (The ads were not very distracting, from my own browsing experience.)
Interestingly, the site also links users to businesses where select items can be found, no doubt another even source for the company.
Not to repeat myself, but in my humble opinion this really is a very good site for those interested in home design, whether finding new ideas for rennovation or just browsing for quick home improvement projects, like replacing towel racks or shelving units.
The only real danger here is getting sucked in by the sheer expansiveness of Houzz. Because another essential Internet distraction on our "bookmarked" page is just what we all need, right?