11:02 08/11/2019 | 7newstar.com
Total post : 1,355
Spruce Up launches an updated ecommerce platform that leverages machine learning to recommend goods to homeowners
(Tech) Using what it touts as a proprietary style genome trained by professional designers, Spruce Up is looking to automate a process that would typically require some back-and-forth interactions between the customer and a human stylist.
To date, Spruce Up has raised $4.5 million in funding from investors that include Madrona, Two Sigma Ventures, Female Founders Fund, Alumni Ventures Group, and Peterson Ventures. The startup was officially founded out of Seattle in 2017 and launched its first beta proof-of-concept platform last October.
In its original guise, Spruce Up was a stylist-curated shopping service - a human-in-the-middle AI model, as the company puts it, with interior designers curating an evolving mini boutique for $25. It was a little like what Stitchfix has been doing in the fashion realm, combining algorithms with human curation. Fast-forward to November 2019, and Spruce Up is largely removing the human element and going for a fully AI-powered approach, though customers can request its more manual styling service if they prefer.
As before, Spruce Up runs through a thumbs up, thumbs down”quiz spanning myriad products, colors, and designs to arrive at a style profile. The user can continue to fine-tune the recommendations through the style tuner to further personalize recommendations.
It’s also worth noting that the recommended goods are mostly luxury items. Spruce Up takes a cut of sales from the retailer, though all the sales are completed entirely on the Spruce Up platform.
The global home decor market was pegged at $663 billion in 2018, a figure that bodes well for the slew of tech-focused interior design startups that have come to the fore in recent times. Modsy, for example, lets users create 3D renderings of their home so they can visualize it with various kinds of furniture, and the San Francisco-based startup recently raised another $37 million in funding. Then there is virtual interior design platform Havenly, which closed a fresh $32 million funding round just a few weeks back.
Automation is infiltrating just about every industry, and it seems from recent investment activity - and the fact that Spruce Up is now doubling down on its automated home-styling efforts - that interior design is ripe for disruption.