Rise of the niche networks: Houzz raises $ 35 million Series C

Houzz, founded by Israelian couple Adi Tatarko and Alon Cohen, just announced $ 35 million Series C round, led by New Enterprise Associates and GGV Capital. Other investors include Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, Comcast Ventures and Yammer founder David Sacks as well as existing investor Sequoia Capital. This brings the total financing for Houzz to $ 48.6 million.

Tatarko and Cohen started Houzz when they were looking for ideas to remodel their Palo Alto home. When trying to find architects and decorators, they were frustrated at the lack of a one stop site where they could browse and compare the work of professionals. So they created Houzz.

Houzz is comparable to Pinterest – it has a glossy, aspirational quality to it, and it’s not hard to get lost for a few hours on the site, flipping from one spectacular architectural feat to another.

It looks like user generated community sites like Pinterest and Houzz are fast becoming the new glossy magazines. Houzz currently attracks 12 million unique visitors per month, with 160 000 professionals (up from 10 000 a year ago). It recently exceeded 5 million downloads on their mobile and iPad app.

Together with the news of the financing, Houzz announced that it would roll out premium features that lets architects and decorators promote their services to local home owners. The big cash injection might serve as a competitive moat to protect Houzz from copycats abroad, thinks Bloomberg News.

[houzz=http://www.houzz.com/photos/332528/FINNE-Architects-modern-exterior-other-metro] [houzz=http://www.houzz.com/photos/332536/Sapele-Wood-Dining-Table-modern-dining-tables-other-metro] [houzz=http://www.houzz.com/photos/332531/FINNE-Architects-modern-dining-room-other-metro] [houzz=http://www.houzz.com/photos/2629827/Laguna-Beachfront-Contemporary-contemporary-patio-orange-county] [Forbes, NoCamels]


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Raf Weverbergh

Editor of whiteboard. Raf Weverbergh was a magazine journalist whose work appeared in magazines like Rolling Stone, Playboy, Mail on Sunday, Publico and South China Morning Post. He is the co-founder of FINN, a corporate communications agency where he advises startups and multinationals on their PR and Mustr, the easiest media database for PR professionals. You can contact him on Twitter, Linkedin or Skype (rafweverbergh).

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