Mumbai based Crude Area, an online platform for contemporary graphic art and design, has recently raised an undisclosed amount of funding from Sidharth Rao and Sudesh Samaria, founders of Webchutney and two unnamed angel investors based in the US. Nidhi Dewan, one of the founders of Crude Area, however told Iamwire that the raised funds are are enough for the company to execute its plans for the next one year.
Nidhi also said that Sidharth and Sudesh are the main investors in this round, who always have been very supportive and are great mentors as well. She earlier worked with Webchutney.
The funds will primarily be used in scaling operations by additional hiring and increasing marketing expenses to increase the outreach. The company will also focus on launching new products. “We launched with wall prints in November 2012 and are now looking to scale across different home décor and lifestyle products in the next 2-3 months. As we scale, we expect to compete with other marketplaces in the home décor/lifestyle space.” added Shweta Bhandari, the other co-founder.
Crude Area currently offers art and design from around the world for Indian consumers to redesign and transform their living and working spaces. Working in the niche online home decor market by providing interior designing solutions online, the startup provides a wide range of wall graphics under various themes and categories, with free shipping across India.
The site currently offers art prints, framed and canvas prints in four standard sizes, but provides customised sizes for corporates on order.
In an effort to bring international art to India via its online platform, the startup has a number of international artists working for it, who in return get paid on a commission basis.
What the industry has to offer?
Recently India has seen growing number of home decor startups, selling stuff online. Currently competing with sites like Printawallpaper, Crude Area might have to face a more fierce competition with other home decor players such as Pepperfry, Fabfurnish, Urbanladder and more.
With Indian home decor market expected to reach $20 billion by 2015 (including offline and online), the industry undoubtedly offers a significant scope for new and existing business in this field. Given the fact that the market is highly unorganised with only a few big players, supply chain and inventory management are seen as the biggest challenges for such businesses.
“We knew there is huge opportunity in helping this new working class consumer personalize their cookie-cut homes and dull offices with beautiful art and design related merchandise that resonates with them and makes them feel good! We’ll be focusing a lot of energies in reaching out to this audience now.” believes Nidhi.