Looking to disrupt the $10 billion Indian home design and furnishing market, HomeLane.com, the technology-led, home design and set-up company started by veteran entrepreneur Srikanth Iyer and Rama Harinath, has successfully raised US $4.5 million in Series A funding led by Sequoia Capital with participation from Mohandas Pai’s Aarin Capital. HomeLane had previously raised seed funding from serial entrepreneur duo Meena and K Ganesh at its inception.
HomeLane is trying to decouple the home design and furnishing process by keeping the design separate from the actual setup and execution. Targeted towards the mid-income Indian market, which looks at owning and furnishing a house at around INR 50 Lakhs to INR 1.5 Cr range, HomeLane is employing a two-pronged value proposition of a marketplace model using technology, guaranteed quality product with timely delivery and hassle-free installation.
The 120-member strong design and execution team has already completed over 150 installations in Bangalore and is looking to expand to 10 cities starting with Hyderabad, Chennai, Pune and Delhi/NCR region.
“HomeLane is growing strongly with every passing month and we are absolutely delighted to partner with marquee investors such as Sequoia Capital, Dr. Ranjan Pai and Mohandas Pai as we move to the next level of growth,” said Srikanth Iyer, CEO of HomeLane, who set up the company with Rama Harinath in mid-2014, along with GrowthStory’s serial entrepreneur duo and co-promoters, Meena and K Ganesh. HomeLane’s founding team includes Prabhu Venkatesh (COO), Vivek Parashuram (CDO) and Srini Battula (CTO).
“We bring a solid value proposition to the market: no unpleasant surprises. And an absolute guarantee of 30 days from order to installation for a range of home set up solutions – from kitchens to wardrobes to entertainment units,” said Prabhu Venkatesh. “The market has responded very positively to this and in just over six months from launch we are growing at 100% month-on-month,” added Rama Harinath, who handles Sales and Marketing.
“The current fund raise is to help us build and scale the technology platform and make the user experience more seamless in visualizing the end consumer’s virtual home as much as the real one. And provide them access to good designers from across India who fit their budget. In the last three months, we have worked closely with 50 design partners, on-boarding them on to the HomeLane platform and 300-400 more are in pipeline. We are looking to onboard 10,000 interior designers from around the country over the next six months,” shares Rama.
“There is some great design talent in India -- not only in Tier 1 cities but also in Tier 2 & 3 cities -- and we would like to provide passionate designers the opportunity to work with HomeLane providing them part-time, work-from-home opportunities to augment their income,” said Vivek MP.
Besides working directly with end-customers, HomeLane partners with top builders to ensure home buyers receive a wholesome experience enabling from bare shell building to fully fitted ready to move in flat with one decision and touch point.
G V Ravi Shankar, Managing Director, Sequoia Capital India Advisors, said, “We have known Srikanth and team for many years and are thrilled to partner with them again to solve a very large pain point in the home improvement market. HomeLane is disrupting the unorganized and inefficient home setup market with its technology led design, manufacturing and installation services that guarantee timely and cost effective delivery for the consumer.”
“Technological advancements in terms of visualization, tracking and design have been enormous in the last few years. HomeLane will give the latest visualization and designing capabilities to our customers,” said Srini Batulla.
“There are huge opportunities ahead for marketplaces focused on niche, highly, domain-specific verticals. When we initially looked at this business, we were convinced that home setup via an asset-light, marketplace model was a big opportunity. HomeLane’s performance so far and this investment from marquee names further illustrate the massive potential for this business,” said K Ganesh, serial entrepreneur and Founder-Partner, Growthstory.