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Furniture market size in Russia is substantial $7 billion per year, and only $400 million is an online segment. Oliver Samwer was quoted in TechCrunch post by saying “there are only 3 areas in ecommerce to build billion dollar business: amazon, zappos and furniture.”
HomeMe, which currently sells furniture online, will help buyers plan their rooms in 3D. The model reminded me of mydeco, a UK business, which was founded by the former co-founder of LastMinute.com Brent Hoberman. The 3D modeling component is a service to help buyers visualize how the furniture will look like in their homes. In room planning it is essential to take into account only furniture and room size, but also how the pieces fit and look together.
The modeling section at HomeMe is yet to be developed, whilst at mydeco one can drag and drop actual items sold in the store into the virtual room, and then see it in 3D. mydeco used to offer photos for design inspiration and mood boards which interior designers could create to promote their service and fill the website with content, but it appears to have steered away from this concept.
HomeMe is developing in a right direction, although its look and feel is a far cry from a cool and modern mydeco (perhaps I am too biased since I spent months in 2009 and 2010 on mydeco planning my office layout).
Another prominent online furniture retailer in Russia is Ikea. Addventure has previously launched Roomix, a furniture selling business which went pear-shaped but together the funds have a substantial experience in ecommerce.
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