Korea’s First Interior Design Platform ‘OHouse’ Attracts $190 Million Investment
Everyone wants to live in a beautiful abode with eye-catching interiors and aesthetic furnishings. According to Statistics Korea, Korea’s domestic furniture market (sales of durable goods such as furniture, appliances and accessories) grew from around 73 trillion won ($57 billion) in 2018 to around 89 trillion. won ($69 billion) in 2021. The home improvement market in Korea, compiled by the Korea Construction Industry Research Institute, will also reach 30 trillion won ($30 billion) in 2020.
This has helped Korean startup Bucketplace Co. rise to a leading position as an interior design platform selling a range of curated interior design and décor items. The startup that operates the popular lifestyle app – OHouse’ – has attracted a new investment of 230 billion won ($190 million) for the growing company. The small company started by three people has become the largest indoor platform company in Korea, with one in five Koreans joining.
This investment was led by the Korea Development Bank, which invested 100 billion won ($78 million). Domestic investors such as IMM Investment, Mirae Asset Capital, KB Digital Platform Fund, Smilegate Investment, global investment firms Softbank Ventures, BRV Capital Management and Temasek, Singapore’s sovereign wealth fund, have invested in this investment. Foreign investors such as Vertex Growth, a venture investment subsidiary, and BOND, a Silicon Valley investment firm, have participated.
Bucketplace to invest more in technological innovations
OHouse was established in 2013 with the aim of bringing the furniture and interior market online. The monthly transaction amount for the platform during peak season is around 180 billion won ($141 million). Recently, it has expanded its business to include various areas of Home-related services, such as construction, installation/repair and moving, so that all of the client’s Home-related experiences can be enhanced in one place. . Additionally, it entered the global market by acquiring Singapore’s online furniture platform Hipvan last year.
OHouse regularly invests in technology and infrastructure. Last year, it began a transition to a microservices architecture (MSA) to extend large-scale client events to more users and run stably. “OHome Delivery,” which debuted in June 2021, is also getting favorable reviews for its next-day delivery, free installation, and convenient return. Home furnishing retailer IKEA Korea also launched “O House X IKEA Korea Kitchen Installation Service”, a pilot service for IKEA Korea kitchen products in August 2021.
OHouse has a development team consisting of high-tech companies in Korea and overseas, such as Google, Amazon, Naver, Kakao, and Line. It plans to continue to significantly increase the recruitment of developers. Furthermore, it is driving various technological innovations, such as introducing technological infrastructure for stable scaling and advancing services using machine learning and 3D/AR. In addition, it plans to innovate the logistics network through technology investment and increase investment in hiring-related personnel. Bucketplace CEO Lee Seung-Jae said, “OHouse will become a super lifestyle app that can solve everything about home beyond the interior. We will do our best to expand globally.
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