Japanese home design marketplace Suvaco announced (PDF) over the weekend it raised about US$1.18 million from Fuji Startup Ventures and Mobile Internet Capital (hat-tip to The Bridge).
The Tokyo-based startup lets users browse and search real portfolio photos to find the best interior or exterior design to suit them. Suvaco partners with 200 home construction companies that make up a library of more than 8,000 examples.
Once users find a design they like, they can follow the designer, see his or her other projects and profile, chat with consultants, and see previous customers’ evaluations before contract terms are ever discussed. Users can also favorite, share, and, of course, purchase designs and items.
A designer’s profile page on Suvaco Suvaco allows homeowners find the best value on the projects they want and gives designers and architects a launchpad to get their name and ideas out. The site gives the two parties a chat interface so they can discuss details like room dimensions, personal taste, and budget.
Suvaco monetizes by charging the construction companies on a monthly or sales performance basis.
Similar design marketplace startups have sprouted up in other countries such as Tastemaker.