Evolvence, Pidilite, FJ Labs lead $30 mn growth round in HomeLane

Evolvence, Pidilite, FJ Labs lead $30 mn growth round in HomeLane
Photo Credit: 123RF.com
23 Dec, 2019

HomeLane, the interior design solutions marketplace owned by Bengaluru-based Homevista Decor and Furnishings, has raised $30 million in a growth round led by Evolvence India Fund (EIF), Pidilite Group and FJ Labs.

Existing investors Sequoia Capital India, Accel and JSW Ventures participated in the round, the company said in a statement.

The latest infusion takes the total capital raised by the startup so far to $46 million.

HomeLane will use the capital in the growth round to propel its next phase of growth, which includes the launch of renovation as a category; scale the design-to-manufacturing platform to include more designers, vendors and installers; and expand its presence to  up to 10 new cities in the country. A part of the will also go into its 3D interior design platform SpaceCraft, the statement added.

“With this investment, we will accelerate our expansion into newer markets, while further penetrating our current ones. We will also build a world-class offering for the $12 billion home renovation market,” Homelane founder and CEO Srikanth Iyer said.

Earlier this year, the startup raised a $4.6 million bridge round JSW Ventures, Accel and Sequoia. In June last year, it had struck a $3.5-million deal with Brand Capital, the ad-for-equity investment arm of media firm Bennett, Coleman and Company Ltd (BCCL). Previously, it secured $10 million from venture capital firms Accel, Sequoia and RB Investments in December 2017.

The startup offers a virtual design platform and a real-time integrated pricing engine. It allows home buyers to select from hundreds of kitchen, wardrobe or wall-unit combinations with different layouts, designs, colours and finishes. After home buyers place orders, interior designers from HomeLane work with them to help customise the kitchen or wardrobe. HomeLane offers a 45-day delivery guarantee for fit-outs.

The startup was founded in August 2014 by Iyer and Rama Harinath (chief marketing officer), along with husband-wife entrepreneur and investor duo Krishnan Ganesh and Meena Ganesh. Iyer was formerly CEO of Pearson India and founder of Edurite. 

Krishnan Ganesh and Meena Ganesh are best known for setting up the education-and-consumer internet services firm TutorVista Global and selling it to UK-based Pearson for $213 million. The Ganeshes had bought Bengaluru-based offline design firm Bello Interiors and converted it into HomeLane.

HomeLane currently operates in Bengaluru, Chennai, Hyderabad, Mumbai, NCR, Kolkata and Pune and has 16 experience centres and over 900 designers.

“We are confident that with their technology and consumer-first mindset, HomeLane will disrupt the unorganised renovations category as well,” Rohit Batra, Partner, Evolvence India said. 

Private equity firm Evolvence India Fund is sponsored by Dubai-based alternative investment firm Evolvence Capital and an affiliate of US-based New York Life Investment Management. It had raised $250 million for its 2006-vintage first fund. Evolvence India Fund II had pooled together $100 million. The firm occasionally makes venture-style bets as well.

Mumbai-based Pidilite Group is a leading adhesives and construction chemicals maker in Asia. The company’s three key product lines are adhesives and sealants, construction chemicals and paint chemicals, and art and craft materials. Its brands include Fevicol, MSeal, Dr.Fixit and Fevikwik. New York-based stage-agnostic investment firm FJ Labs is an investor in a number of large global internet companies including Chinese ecommerce behemoth Alibaba Group and US-based cab-hailing app Uber. It was co-founded by Fabrice Grinda, one of the founders of online classifieds firm OLX.

HomeLane competes with well-funded online home decor startup Livspace and a number of smaller startups such as Infurnia, Spacejoy, Bonito, Flipspaces, MyGubbi, and Houssup. Online vertical furniture players such as Pepperfry and UrbanLadder, and horizontal ecommerce majors such as Flipkart and Amazon also offer these services.

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