Lee Meyer, Havenly co-founder and CEO, said in a statement:Our expansion responds to the demands of our clients over the years, adding personalized services to deliver an improved design experience for our clients and to address a market that other models typically ignore.”
TechCrunch spoke with Lee Mayer about the entirety of the business, technology, and decision to explore home services.
According to Meyer, when Havenly began testing home services, the company saw a great deal of demand, especially with its Generation Z and Millennial audience. Usually this generation of new homeowners and renters start investing in their living space. Havenly’s services cater to younger consumers (their twenties and early forties) who may not have a budget for the more traditional luxury brands and interior designers that cost anywhere from $2,000 to $12,000.
Meanwhile, Havenly is giving its customers early access rates of $499 ($200) for the first room layout and $199 for each additional room. This is slightly more expensive than Havenly Digital ($79 – $179) because interior designers will meet the client face-to-face in their home.
Image credits: Havenly
The e-commerce platform connects with hundreds of retailers for customers to make direct purchases of furniture and other products. It also has a network of vetted interior designers who create custom visual designs based on a client’s unique style choices.
Through a combination of a communications platform, recommendation software, and visualization software, customers can message designers individually, purchase products online, and view realistic designs using Occipital — which creates 3D models of real-world spaces and objects and then converts them to computer-aided design ( CAD).
A digital marriage with Havenly’s new personalized service will appeal to a broader audience that wants more personal attention and service. At launch, these in-person services are now available in Atlanta, Austin, Chicago, Dallas, Denver, Houston and New York, and the company plans to expand anywhere from 20 to 30 cities nationwide in the next 12 months.
The biggest difference to Havenly’s home services is that the designer will tour your space IRL, take measurements, and make sure everyone is on the same page before they submit a virtual design through digital layouts and 3D renderings.
Meyer told TechCrunch, “We try to offer a more modern approach to interior design where you can take advantage of online shopping, online communication, texting, messaging and still meet and guide your designer through your space… So take the traditional experience, enhance it with a lot of technology, and hopefully our designers offer something It is still affordable and affordable but combines a more traditional and high-touch experience.”
This is a simpler process than the traditional model because it takes into account users’ busy schedules and doesn’t make them travel across town to the showroom. A curated shopping list is provided on Havenly’s platform and tracks all of your orders on one invoice instead of multiple retailers and locations. Once everything is handed over, the designer will go home and help with planning.
Image credits: Havenly
IRL or online, the process begins to a well-designed room as it is. After you take the style test, Havenly matches you with an interior designer. If you are not very sure which option the algorithm has chosen, you can take a look at the long list of other options. There are more than 200 vetted professional designers, and each of them is tested for style and technical ability.
However, before you can even speak to a stylist or get a consultation, you are required to pay the fee, which may seem like a gamble to some. Fortunately, you can take a look at their profile information which includes a photo, design samples, in-depth bio, video introduction, and customer reviews.
While the digital experience is accessible, it has its drawbacks. Based on a few customer reviews alone, the Havenly app was seen as unreliable in a customer’s opinion, as it wouldn’t load product images on her device. The interior designer I worked with also did not respond in time and pushed back deadlines. Another verified buyer expressed frustration with the time-consuming process, but admitted he could have been more clear about what he wanted.
Revisions and refunds are possible, so if you really hate it, the only thing you’ll really lose is time. In addition, the designer can work with you for up to a month, depending on the scale of the project. After accepting the design, they can answer any follow-up questions for 2-4 weeks.
It’s also important to note that the maximum room size for a Havenly design project is 400 square feet, so this could be a potential problem for some clients.
The majority of the comments were positive, however, and upon further examination we found the app to be easy to use, basic in design, and has the running technology that a lot of these types of businesses use (Decorilla, Modsy, etc).