BedBathMore.com acqui-hires art based startup Crude Area, plans to acquire more in near future

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While the debate on private label being the way for ecommerce companies to turn profitable is ongoing, some of the companies seem to already choose their side. Online shopping portal for home living products BedBathMore.com has acqui-hired Crude Area, an art-based startup focused on the discovery of graphic art created by Indian and international artists. It is an all-stock, acqui-hire deal and the entire team of Crude Area has transitioned into BedBathMore.com along with the founders, who now will be a part of the management team at BedBathMore.com.

This move further BedBathMore’s offerings in the home decor and lifestyle space and comes as a part of larger strategy of offering their consumers a unique model of designing their homes.

 Three-year-old Crude Area

Crude Area, which was founded in 2012, started with a team vision of translating graphic art into home decor and lifestyle products including wall art, framed prints, canvas prints, mugs, coasters and more to give talented artists across the globe a forum to reach out to a wider audience using the online medium. The satrtup has been incubated by Sidharth Rao, ​Founder of Webchutney and has also raised money from angel investors including Sachin Bhatia, co-founder Make My Trip and CEO, TrulyMady.

Sidharth says,

Coincidentally I also wanted to move beyond just Wall Art and other categories of home decor as a private label, which tied in with BedBathMore.com's strategy. BedBathMore.com is moving towards a more holistic and horizontal space to become a one-stop-destination for everything home. From ideas, to products and services, the search for anything home ends at Bed Bath More. Crude Area was a natural fit in Bed Bath More's offering.

Related read: Is private label the way to go for e-commerce companies to turn profitable?


Exploring the acquisition

With this move, BedBathMore.com will expand its private label offerings and strengthen its focus on content, community and e-commerce. Currently BedBathMore.com owns several private labels in the linen, furniture and other categories. Post this acquisition Crude Area will become an independent white label on the portal, thus offering a wider range of products to its consumers.

Along with other members of the Crude Area team who will be a part of the development and creative teams, Shweta Bhandari is now VP – Platform and community and Falguni Agarwal is now creative director at BedBathMore.com.

Amit Dalmia, Founder and MD, BedBathMore.com believes that Crude Area has built a robust model of identifying art based products which will add value to the company's overall effort of offering unique and differentiated products. He says,

As a business, wall art and private label extension in decor and furniture was always a vision for BedBathMore.com and the move ties in with our expansion plan and our acqui-hire strategy. We will continue with similar acqui-hires in the near future.

Earlier,BedBathMore.com had acqui-hired Homado.com, which is a marketplace for interior designers to showcase their portfolio, expertise and ideas. The acquisition resulted in the integration of the community of 3,000 architects and interior designers of Homado.com’s into the existing offerings of BedBathMore.com. The ecommerce company has seen an increase in its revenue via the web platform by 215% and is optimistic about the Indian home furnishing and solutions market, which is pegged at Rs. 60,000 crores.

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