Imagine this, you are excited that your new house is ready to occupy next month and you share this information with your family and friends. The immediate response you get from them is … Are you done with your kitchen furnishing? Did you find the right carpenter? Where do you plan to buy the kitchen furnishings from? Have you compared the price discounts available with different vendors?
CapriCoast, a Bangalore-based startup, offers you the complete solution via its platform. Launched in January this year by Jawad Ayaz, CapriCoast claims to pioneer the O2O (online to offline) model, which enables modular furniture brands to take their extensive showroom network online; thus, significantly increasing their visibility and customer reach.
“With this model, customers can now purchase their modular furniture online. They can explore design catalog, customise design with free consultations, experience their design offline at these brand showrooms and buy from there. From the customers’ research to personalised service of home consultations to on-site installation and after-sales service, we provide constant support,” says Jawad, Founder and CEO, CapriCoast. Starting with modular furniture, CapriCoast.com also plays in home solution buying in India.
Jawad adds that he’s built a marketplace which offers buying solutions. The key nature of solutions is that there is an aspect of on-platform customisation and spatial fit. He launched this marketplace platform by partnering with Spacewood and Style Spa and soon expects to have all the major brands signed up. “The O2O model of CapriCoast brings in cost efficiency and making it possible for the price of a world class modular kitchen to be 20–25 per cent lower than any other comparable offerings in the market.”
Since January, the platform has grown from one city to 15 cities and claims to expand its reach to 65 cities by mid next year with over 200 showrooms on its network. “After we launched the O2O model, growth has been greater than 50 per cent month-on-month. We are on-track to hit a run-rate of USD one million per month by early 2016. In less than nine months, we have furnished hundreds of homes,” says Jawad.
During the month of April, the platform raised $1.25 million in a seed round led by Accel Partners India, which they invested in building technology, hiring talents, and marketing. It also plans to raise its next round (Series A) of funding within the next three to four months.
Presently, the modular furnishing market is highly fragmented and unorganised players hugely cater to the demand of modular furnishing. Jawad says that creating awareness among consumers that solutions like modular kitchens can now be bought online is a key challenge. He aims to address the issue through smart marketing with focus on customer satisfaction.
Given the huge market size, it is expected to grow into a USD 100 million business in the next few years.
The modular furniture industry in India is pegged at USD 10 billion, with a large part of the industry falling in unorganised sector. Modular furnishing has witnessed phenomenal growth as a category in the last five years and has become an essential pre-move in purchase for new homebuyers. While a handful of both Indian and International brands exist, the large part of the demand continues to be fulfilled by small interior design firms and local carpenters.
During March this year, Furlenco raised $6 million from Lightbox ventures.
On competition, Jawad says that there’s no one else operating in this model. “There are quite a few companies that have come into the online led-interior space, which is the closest comparable. But most people are taking a complete vertical stack (own manufacturing/showrooms, etc.) approach or trying to do it in a complete online manner,” says Jawad.