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The financing was led by Asia-based Hillhouse Capital Group (the firm has headquarters in Beijing, Hong Kong and Singapore). Previously, Kujiale’s total venture raised was $134.8 million since its inception in 2011, according to Crunchbase data. Previous backers include Silicon Valley-based GGV Capital, China’s IDG Capital Partners, and San Francisco-based Matrix Partners. The company declined to disclose the amount of its latest raise. DealStreetAsia had previously reported an amount of $100 million.
According to this Forbes piece, the concept for Kujiale (which apparently means “cool home” in Mandarin) was born after entrepreneur Hang Chen – who was working in the U.S. as a software engineer for Microsoft at the time – observed a growing trend of Chinese consumers building houses from the ground up.
Chen teamed up with former classmates Victor Huang and Hao Zhu to form Kujiale, which by April 2018, boasted “nearly 70 percent of China’s interior design market,” according to Forbes. The cloud-based platform uses virtual reality and artificial intelligence to help users create 3D renderings when trying to design their homes.
Earlier this year, Kujiale announced its official entry into the North America market by “establishing cooperation partnerships with a number of overseas home furnishing companies,” according to EqualOcean.com, putting it in a position to compete with US-based Houzz.
“The platform is capable of generating home design plans within 5 minutes, home improvement renderings under 10 seconds, and perfected [a] VR project allowing its users 360-degree real-time viewing experience for [the] space the platform designed for them,” noted EqualOcean.com.
Effectively, this could mean that Kujiale will be able to make Chinese home furnishing brands more accessible to people globally. According to EqualOcean.com, Kujiale has plans to build out “the world’s largest virtual warehouse for home furnishing products in the next three years.”
Illustration: Li-Anne Dias
Note: This piece was updated post-publication as the company reached out saying the funding amount was actually undisclosed.