The Hindu Business Line

De­sign Cafe drafts ₹25-cr ex­pan­sion, mar­ket­ing plan

Spreads its wings to Mum­bai; Pune and Hy­der­abad are next

- SANGEETHA CHENGAPPA Design · Costa Rica · Mumbai · Pune · Hyderabad

Home in­te­rior solutions start-up De­sign Cafe plans to in­vest ₹25 crore to ex­pand to three cities out­side its home mar­ket Bengaluru and for a brand aware­ness cam­paign, a top ex­ec­u­tive told Busi­nessLine.

Start­ing with its foray into Mum­bai over the week­end, the start-up which raised $28.5 mil­lion (₹200 crore) in a Se­ries B round from WestBridge Cap­i­tal and Fire­side Ven­tures re­cently, will also es­tab­lish its pres­ence in Pune and Hy­der­abad by March 2020.

Be­sides the one in Mum­bai, Gita Ra­manan, CEO, De­sign Cafe

De­sign Cafe has two ex­pe­ri­ence cen­tres in Bengaluru, with a third one com­ing up in Oc­to­ber.

Mar­ket­ing cam­paign

“We have al­lo­cated ₹15 crore for launches in Mum­bai, Pune and Hy­der­abad. We have also al­lo­cated ₹10 crore for a mar­ket­ing cam­paign in Bengaluru and Mum­bai be­gin­ning this month, un­til Jan­uary,” said Gita Ra­manan, CEO and co­founder of De­sign Cafe.

The mar­ket­ing cam­paign will fo­cus on cre­at­ing brand aware­ness pri­mar­ily on dig­i­tal me­dia but will also in­clude off­line touch­points such as hoard­ings and bill-boards.

AI-pow­ered ex­pe­ri­ence

De­sign Cafe has com­pleted over 2,000 homes since its in­cep­tion in Oc­to­ber 2015 and 15 per cent of its cus­tomers are non-res­i­dent In­di­ans.

It of­fers cus­tomers an AI en­abled Vir­tual Re­al­ity ex­pe­ri­ence to give them a 360 de­gree per­spec­tive of their home be­fore fi­nal­is­ing the de­sign.

Homes are fit­ted out and de­liv­ered within 90 days, from fur­ni­ture and lights to the kitchen sink.

“The on­line home in­te­ri­ors in­dus­try is do­ing well and is a 40-50 per cent mar­gin busi­ness. Our aver­age or­der size is ₹9.5 lakh and we take 25-30 per cent of the to­tal or­der value as our fee. We aspire to be a on­estop de­sign-led home in­te­ri­ors solutions provider and are two years away from achiev­ing this,” said Ra­manan.

Rev­enue tar­get

The start-up, which achieved ₹40 crore rev­enue in FY 2019, is tar­get­ing ₹100 crore by March 2020.

It com­petes with lo­cal con­trac­tors and other star­tups like Livs­pace and HomeLane.

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