The furniture and furnishings market in India is pegged at USD 20 billion, and is ranked the fifth largest market in the world. Despite the huge size of the overall market, the online furniture market is small and ruled by only a few. Ṭherefore, there’s a huge scope for other players to grow in this segment.
From coffeehouse discussions to drawing boards and eventually design presentation, 27 Décor Street, an online platform for furniture and home décor, was launched in July this year by Dhruv and Nishu Jouhari.
“We are an online environment where the homeowner is assured of buying the finest quality and distinctively designed products. Furniture and décor pieces have increasingly gained importance as they are an expression of character and personal statement. Our USP is best embodied by our tagline: ‘delivering promises of comfort, home’,” says Dhruv, Co-founder, 27 Décor Street. The platform has logistical presence in all the five metros and plans to expand its reach in Pune and Coimbatore.
The company presently deals in furniture, lighting and décor. Dhruv adds that the furniture category includes design-forward products across living, dining, bedroom and bar. The lighting category consists of luxurious and handcrafted lampshades. Their décor range is limited as of now. “We also feature established and upcoming artists' paintings within our décor category that perfectly complement our products and the taste of our discerning customer.”
The platform is founded by a group of individuals with a combined experience of over 20 years in the furniture and interior design industry. With this in mind, they looked to apply their experience, enthusiasm and passion for the product itself. They claim to differentiate themselves from the current market offerings.
“Given our background, we believe that we could create an ecosystem of designers and products sold on our platform that are trendsetting and of premium calibre,” says Dhruv.
Unlike other platforms, this venture claims to perform multiple levels of due diligence and checks of products before they go on the platform. Dhruv goes into detailed raw material study and also pays visit to each manufacturer's facility for checks before on-boarding them as a source to 27 Décor Street.
“We treat the sensitivity of the online customer with utmost priority when selling such personal items. This transcends into our system of carefully selecting our suppliers and the products that are being sold to our clientele,” he says.
UrbanLadder, FabFurnish and PepperFry are the big and established names in the home and décor segment. Analysing the figures in this segment, it is evident that these players have a tight grip the online market, and they seem to have left little space for any other player to grow in the past few years. The three companies have also raised huge funding from various investors.
In April, 2015, Urban Ladder raised USD 50 million in a new round of funding led by Sequoia Capital along with TR Capital, and existing investors Steadview Capital, SAIF Partners and Kalaari Capital.
Late last month, Pepperfry snapped up USD 100 million and became the first player to reach the magic figure in the niche e-commerce segment in the country. The round of funding was led by Goldman Sachs and Zodius Technology Fund. Existing investors Bertelsmann India Investments (BII) and Silicon Valley-based Norwest Venture Partners (NVP) also participated in this round.
According to a PTI report, FabFurnish is set to raise over USD 50 million from its existing investors, including Rocket Internet and Kinnevik, within the next one year to fund its expansion plans. The Gurgaon-based company has already raised more than USD 30 million from these investors.
On competition, Dhruv says that other platforms sell generic standard products. He claims that though a bit expensive, 27 Décor Street offers better products than others and bets big on this promise. In terms of connecting with customers, the company is trying to expand its reach via social media platforms, publication and blogs.