11. Houzz

Open for renovations

Founders: Adi Tatarko, Alon Cohen
Launched: 2009
Funding: $213.8 million
Valuation: $2.3 billion
Disrupting: DIY and professional home remodeling and design
Rival: Porch, HGTV, DIY Network, Dwell, Remodelaholic

Ever watch HGTV and wish some of their designers could swoop in and magically transform your home into the perfect living space? Well, Houzz is the next best thing. The platform for home remodeling and design was started in 2009 when husband-and-wife team Alon Cohen and Adi Tatarko — Cohen was an eBay engineer and Tatarko worked at a boutique investment firm— ran into problems remodeling their own house and figured other homeowners were dealing with the same issues.


Today, homeowners can turn to Houzz and click on more than 10 million remodeling and renovating photos for any room in their house. Trying to make a small bedroom seem bigger? Hoping to maximize space in your closet? There are scores of ideas on how to do that. The company's online marketplace lets customers buy the furniture and home accessories they see on Houzz.com directly from the site rather than having to toggle over to the manufacturer's or retailer's site. (The company collects a 15 percent commission on these sales, making it another revenue stream, and features products from such leading brands as GE, Keurig and Cuisinart.)

"My husband and I were renovating our home and found the entire process to be a nightmare...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, founder and CEO

Pros love Houzz because they use the site to build their brands, collaborate on projects and connect with homeowners — their potential customers. And there are plenty there to impress: The company claims it has 40 million unique monthly users and more than 1 million active home-renovation and design professionals using their site.

Now Houzz is looking to ramp up its design access to homeowners outside the United States. It's been operating in the U.K., Australia, France and Germany since 2014 and late last year added Russia, Japan, Italy, Spain, Sweden and Denmark. This global reach helps explain why Houzz has been able to raise $213 million in venture capital from firms such as Sequoia and KPCB, and why it's reported to have a valuation of over $2 billion.

The company doesn't release sales figures, but industry followers say revenues could reach $1 billion in the next few years.

Disclosure: Comcast Ventures, the investment arm of Comcast, CNBC's parent company, owns a stake in Houzz.

Alon Cohen and Adi Tatarko, co-founders of Houzz
Source: Houzz
Alon Cohen and Adi Tatarko, co-founders of Houzz

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