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The company allows customers to making 3D renderings of their home designs before they buy
It was only a few years ago that if you asked someone if they would buy glasses online they'd say you were crazy. How could you tell if they'd look good without trying them on first? Then along came Warby Parker, and everything changed. Now being able to try on clothes virtually is fairly common.
That's the same idea behind Modsy, a company that has taken the same idea and applied it to furniture shopping; the company uses photorealistic 3D rendering tools and virtual reality to allow consumers to see, and feel, how products and furniture would look inside of their own homes before they purchase.
On Tuesday, the company announced that it raised a $37 million Series C round of funding from TCV. This brings its total venture funding to $71 million, following a Series B funding round of $23 million in December 2017.
Founded in 2015, Mody customers are asked to take some photos of the room they want to design. Then, after they take a style quiz so Modsy can better understand their preferences and tastes, the company provides the with a visual and shoppable web page of design choices set in the context of the room they want to design.
The company offers three tiers of pricing: Modsy Classic, which costs $69 per room; Modsy Premium, which costs $149, in which the customers works one-on-one with the design team; and Modsy Multi-Room, which costs $349 per room, for customers that are designing at least three rooms.
The idea for Modsy came when founder and CEO Shanna Tellerman was moving into her new house with her husband in 2014, but found the number of options for redesigning to be overwhelming.
"When we did see things we liked, we were unable to visualize exactly how pricey new furniture items would fit in the space so ultimately we ended up with a half-finished home that we didn’t love. I knew this was an issue many faced, and recognized a technological hole in the interior design market," she told me.
"Anyone should be able to see things in our homes before buying. So I drew on my background in 3D development and brought together an eclectic group of creatives, scientists, artists and thinkers to create Modsy. Five years later, there are still so many inspiration options out there when it comes to home design but finding ways to visualize items in your real home is still a challenge and something Modsy is unique to solving."
Since announcing its Series B funding a year and a half ago, Modsy has expanded its customer base 450 percent and has grown its headcount by 151 percent. It has also introduced features such as Live Swap, which allows customers to quickly swap furniture and its 3D Style Editor, a tool that enables customers to edit their designs in real-time.
In March, the company took the step of launching its first line of furniture, selling custom sofas and chairs designed completely from customer data.
"Modsy will always first and foremost be focused on delivering a stellar customer experience, from receiving initial designs to shopping through Modsy, we want to ensure we’re exceeding all expectations. We developed our sofa and chair line as a direct response to what our customers were telling us they wanted, and couldn’t exactly find on the market. They wanted stylish, kid and pet friendly pieces at affordable price points so we created it for them. We will continue to listen to our customers as we expand into other categories and enhance our services," said Tellerman.
With this round of funding, Modsy will focus on scaling the business while investing in 3D automation, specifically to reduce the turn-around time "without compromising style and image quality."
"We want to deliver that Modsy wow-factor experience faster than ever before. Modsy has unique proprietary and patented technology behind the scenes that helps us create a level of photo realism and quality that is cutting edge for the industry. We will continue to invest in this transformative technology and push the boundaries of what is possible in the realm of 3D," Tellerman said.
It will also be expanding its marketplace, "by further diversifying the brands and products that our customers can shop through their designs." Modsy has already partnered with retailers that include Crate & Barrel and Wayfair, as well as direct-to-consumer startups like Interior Define and Joybird, along with specialty retailers like Design Within Reach.
Finally, it will also be using the funding to build out is design and concierge shopping services.
"We know the headaches that come with ordering furniture so one of the great benefits of being a Modsy customer is having a centralized shopping cart where you can make purchases from multiple retailers all in one cart and pay in one easy checkout. Our team is also on-hand to help with the ordering process and make sure you’re getting the best price. We believe the check-out process can actually be an enjoyable one and we will be investing in ways to further improve the buying experience."
In addition to this funding it was also announced that Tina Hoang-To, Executive Vice President at TCV, will be joining the board of directors at Modsy.
"I am thrilled to be partnering with TCV and Tina on this round and to welcome her to our board. Tina’s experience building successful consumer and e-commerce businesses will be invaluable to Modsy. She is constantly putting herself in the customer’s shoes when thinking through challenges and will bring this unique perspective in helping us to deliver a world-class home design and shopping experience," Tellerman told me.
With this appointment, Hoang-To joins Tellerman, Advance Venture Partners partner Courtney Robinson, and Norwest Venture Partners Managing Partner Jeff Crowe, giving Modsy a female-majority board, something that is particularly important to Tellerman.
"As an entrepreneur and a former venture capitalist, I have had the unique fortune to sit on both sides of the funding table. I know first hand how difficult it is to raise funding, no matter your gender but the numbers don’t lie: women led businesses received only 2.2 percent of venture capital last year which means they might not even be getting in the room to have those conversations," she said.
"I am a huge advocate for bringing more women into the mix to help level the playing field. For me that comes in many forms - through mentorship, networking, hiring C-level executives at Modsy like Meredith Dunn our COO who joined from Stitch Fix and having impressive leaders like Tina join our board. It’s important to have more diverse voices across all aspects of my company and in my life to truly begin making a change. While I’m excited about the progress we’ve made, I continue to be motivated to push for even broader diversity at Modsy to continue to set an example for the larger tech industry."
Modsy is taking advantage of changes in the home design space, where according to Tellerman, "the inspiration category is thriving."
"Pinterest just IPO’d, and it seems as if every TV channel is entering the home design category. Meanwhile, e-commerce sites have barely changed since the introduction of the internet. The real pain points of shopping for furniture and designing your home (especially online), still has not been cracked, and Modsy has uniquely solved this challenge by helping our customers on a daily basis to go from inspiration to reality," she said.
Ultimately, the main goal of Modsy is to take something that is currently difficult, but shouldn't be, and making it a much easier process.
"Our homes are critical parts of our lives, they should bring us comfort, safety, warmth and happiness but so many of us get stuck along the way and live in spaces that never quite get there. With Modsy I want to create a frictionless and fun experience to help people everywhere create a unique space that is just right. Our vision has been to create a product that is as fun as browsing through catalogs of inspiration but that customizes the imagery and products to be exactly right for you and stages everything within a digital version of your exact home," Tellerman told me.
"We’re getting closer to delivering that experience every day. We believe that continuing to enhance the wow-factor through speed, beautiful designs and a seamless user experience we are on our way to turning Modsy into a household name synonymous with designing your home. Success for Modsy is that we are a no-brainer, have-to-use service for anyone that ever considers buying furniture."
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Modsy is an online interior design service that delivers highly realistic 3D designs of your exact room filled with shoppable pieces of furniture from top brands you can virtually “try on” products and designs before you buy–starting at just $69. At a breakthrough price point, Modsy is providing visualization and design services that were once inaccessible to the masses and making it a no brainer purchase for any consumer on the market for furniture. Modsy provides unlimited revisions to your designs through its groundbreaking tools or by working directly with Modsy Designers. After finalizing a design, Modsy makes the check out process easy and gives customers access to exclusive discounts on their aggregated cart that easily pay back the initial design fee. Modsy’s name even comes from a combination of “modern design” and “easy”! Modsy’s mission is to change the way consumers imagine, design and shop for their homes.
Joined Vator onShanna is the founder and CEO of Modsy, a home design service that allows you to visualize design ideas in the context of your own home. Previously, Shanna was a partner on the investing team at Google Ventures.