A year-old startup specializing in connecting businesses to interior designers has nabbed several million dollars in first-round funding.
Laurel & Wolf secured $4.4 million in Series A funding, the company announced Friday (Feb. 13). The firm, which runs LaurelandWolf.com, is an online marketplace for both businesses and consumers to connect with about 600 interior designers and purchase design services.
For business customers, Laurel & Wolf charges a per-room fee and receives several submitted designs for the space, including suggested furniture and décor items. For a higher price, those businesses can pay for a designer to shop for and purchase those products.
Founder and CEO of Laurel & Wolf Leura Fine said that she is looking to fill the gap in the market in services for clients to directly communicate with interior designers online when finding remodeling and décor services. With the dramatic increase in technology, Fine says it’s a natural move for interior designers to connect with clients digitally, and one that perhaps should have come sooner.
“Pinterest and Houzz were often used for inspiration, and e-commerce had made better-looking products accessible to customers at a wide array of price-points, so it seemed that everything around interior design was moving into the future, except for design services,” she said.
Houzz.com, Fine notes, is one competitor that can connect customers to designers, but does not offer a portal for customers to receive actual designs or pay online for services.
Charles River Ventures, Karlin Ventures, Upside Partnership and Draper & Associates contributed to the latest funding, bringing the total amount of capital raised by Laurel & Wolf to $5.5 million. The company says it will use the money to strengthen its digital marketplace and offer better ways for designers and clients to work together.
According to Charles River Ventures partner Annie Kadavy, demand for services like those offered by Laurel & Wolf will likely increase as businesses increasingly turn to the Internet to purchase furniture.