An hour-long video consultation with some of the world’s greatest interior designers began in 2021 as part of The Expert’s global launch. Leo Seigal, co-founder of Farfetch, says the 12-month-old startup will become “Farfetch for home” with the $12 million Series A investment.
Founder Jake Arnold (who styles the homes of Katy Perry and Chrissy Teigen) and a timeliness of offering that is far above anything that has been tried in the home space, were credited with attracting a crazy roster of designers, according to Seigal, when the company launched with a $3 million round of funding.
Over 140 designers now advise thousands of clients in 50 countries. Less than 1% of designers who apply become experts, according to Seigal.
Other startups are also providing celebrity designer access. A 15-minute consultation with Rachel Zoe or Nate Berkus, for example, received $10 million in funding last year.
This helps to drive 85% of organic traffic in 2021. Over $5 million in sales was generated in the first 12 months, with a 35% repeat transaction rate.
The Expert’s next step was to expand into e-commerce to be a one-stop shop for home products after understanding the spending potential of consumers asking consultations – over 45 percent of clients had furnishing budgets of $50,000 or more, with 33 percent exceeding $100,000.
As a result of not having a mechanism for clients to purchase everything under one roof, he feels they are “losing money”.