Teamwork makes the dream work, as the saying goes. And in the case of Houzz, the founding team of Adi Tatarko and Alon Cohen have made that dream work in spades. The husband-and-wife duo has built a massive startup out of what started as an online lookbook for their own home improvement project in the leafy streets of Palo Alto.
For the uninitiated, Houzz is an online community and marketplace focused on home decor, home improvement and the more practical side of keeping your home up and running.
The startup has been on a roll for the last several years and its wild popularity among Houzz devotees is a lesson for anyone and everyone working in the world of vertical media platforms being built around specific interests. (And those who wonder what sites like Pinterest, Facebook and Amazon might choose to do if they decide to move into that neighborhood.)
Now with over 40 million monthly active users, Houzz is now active in 15 countries and has pictures and listings of more than 9 million products from more than 20,000 sellers — and that’s before you consider the wider network of community snaps (example: there are nearly 2 million kitchen design ideas on the site among some 14.3 million home design photos).
Starting as a place for people to post pictures of their own home projects and track those of others for inspiration, Houzz has done some of its own remodeling, so to speak.
Over the years, Houzz has gradually built up a two-sided marketplace that covers any and all aspects of home building and care. Professionals in areas as diverse as architecture and interior design; carpentry; plumbing and home cleaning go to Houzz to connect with prospective customers. And customers go there to browse and figure out how to create their dream home.
And in the process, Houzz has pushed into other areas of tech and how those could be used to its advantage. This has included a move into looking at how augmented reality can be used to improve the Houzz experience, and expanding its API to bring more types of businesses into its ecosystem.
Little surprise that Houzz has been on a funding tear, too. The company is now reportedly valued at $4 billion after raising a whopping $400 million round this month. That’s almost double the valuation it had in its last round of funding around three years ago.