11. Houzz

DIY home design

Founders: Adi Tatarko, Alon Cohen
Date launched: 2009
Funding: $213.6 million
Industry disrupted: Home renovation, interior design

Few things can be as nerve-wracking or confusing as renovating a home. Just ask husband-and-wife team Adi Tatarko and Alon Cohen, who founded Houzz as a side project when they ran into obstacles remodeling their own home in 2009. Cohen formerly worked as an eBay engineer.


Today, with more than $200 million in venture capital from Sequoia, New Enterprise Associates and GGV Capitals, among others, Houzz has grown to over 25 million monthly unique users around the world—90 percent of whom are homeowners—and over 600,000 architects, designers, contractors and other home professionals. The company doesn't release sales figures, but industry followers estimate it could reach $1 billion within the next five years.

Pros use the Houzz platform to build their brands, collaborate on projects and connect with homeowners. Consumers love the site because they can click on thousands of different ideas for remodeling and renovating their homes and research and hire professionals. Houzz's online marketplace lets customers buy the furniture and home accessories they see from such manufacturers as Hamilton Beach, Black and Decker and Viking cookware, to name a few, directly from the company's site rather than having to toggle over to individual retailers and manufacturers.

The company collects a 15 percent commission from the merchants that sell on its site, making it a robust source of income for Houzz. It also makes money by letting manufacturers advertise on its site and by charging designers extra for premium listings.

Alon Cohen and Adi Tatarko, co-founders of Houzz
Source: Houzz
Alon Cohen and Adi Tatarko, co-founders of Houzz
"It seemed that while every other major industry had gone online, home remodeling and design was stuck in the past. We thought that bringing the right technology together with a community of homeowners and home professionals would solve many of the challenges we experienced." -Adi Tatarko, Houzz co-founder and CEO

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