Zillow’s CEO Spencer Rascoff will also join Hutch’s board of directors as part of the investment.
Right now the investment is strictly a financing deal — meaning for now there will be no strategic or operational partnerships between Hutch and Zillow. But considering interior design is such a large part of purchasing or renting a new house, it’s not hard to envision a future where Zillow and Hutch work together to help new buyers design their home, or tempt existing homeowners in the midst of a redesign to consider upgrading to a new place.
Hutch has a history — the startup first launched on Shark Tank as Zoom Interiors, a company focused on pairing college students with professional designers. They then pivoted toward a chat-based interior design platform called Homee, before finally settling on Hutch, a service that would combine a photo of your space with virtual furniture arranged by an expert in 24 hours. You could then purchase the furniture, all of which was white-labeled, directly in the app.
Since launching Hutch the team has built in some new features to improve the user experience. First, the design process has switched from mostly manual to automated (with a little human oversight), reducing the time it takes to get your room designed to under an hour.
The improvement in turnaround time does have some downsides — instead of a totally custom design, users now “swipe” through different design styles — like industrial, relaxed or floral. As you swipe through designs, all the furniture in the room changes to match that style. So while the process is now a little less personalized, users can still individually swap out items from Hutch’s library of items if they don’t like a piece the style recommended.
Hutch will also soon expand beyond white-labeled inventory, adding affiliate deals with retailers like Target, Nordstrom and Urban Outfitters — giving users access to a broader catalog of items while also generating some extra revenue for Hutch.
This new investment means that Hutch has now raised a little over $17 million, with earlier investments coming from Founders Fund, Scooter Braun and Tinder co-founder Sean Rad, who is also on the board.
According to techcrunch