The Landing, a seed-stage startup, is revolutionizing interior design. On The Landing’s innovative social platform, users can design their own spaces to budget and order furniture all in one go. “We started building The Landing as a shopping destination, for people to discover, design, curate and share with the community in a moodboard format”, commented co-founder Miri Buckland.
$2.5 million seed round
The Landing is launching with $2.5 million in funding, in a seed round led by Aileen Lee at Cowboy Ventures. Lee will also be sitting on the board of directors. The company is also backed by several angel investors, including Dara Treseder (the CMO of Peloton), Mariam Naficy and Ethan Eismann (the founders of Poshmark), Progression Fund, Unshackled, and Designer Fund. The $2.5 million is the Landing’s first institutional funding, however the additional angel investments have increased their total financing to roughly $3 million. The new funding will be partially put toward product development. Their newly-launched platform now has a cleaner user interface, greater flexibility, and a community library that lets users bookmark any product from anywhere on the internet.
In its early days, the Landing involved Buckland and Buckingham physically designing and furnishing homes themselves. Indeed, there are multiple career pathways in the interior design industry depending on the interests and passions of each designer. But, as high-touch services have become less feasible in recent years, Buckland and Buckingham were forced to transform their business into what they really wanted it to be. “I don’t need to be the person moving into your apartment with a couch,” said Buckland. “It was about the importance of empowering creativity and empowering individuals to create digital and physical spaces.” As such, the Landing axed their moving services and entered the world of social e-commerce.
A growing industry
The Landing isn’t the only platform to capitalize on this innovative idea. Houzz, the home decorating startup backed by Sequoia Capital, helps users find third-party products and services. Similarly, Modsy, an online interior design service that’s raised over $70 million so far, also helps people redesign their homes virtually. In fact, Buckingham briefly worked for Modsy, although realized she doesn’t believe in the startups’ overarching goal. “Their motto was basically a digital rendition of an existing human service,” she said. “And I came away from the experience not super convinced that the service model was the scalable, future answer to consumerization of access to design.” Gen Z and millennials, Buckingham noticed, are seeking a fresh, customizable, and self-serve solution.
“Over the next six months, we will be working on the social functionality to enable users to create profiles, create a discovery feed for their profile and interact in a contextually rich way”, which includes commenting capabilities, said Buckingham. The team will also be working on ways to introduce micro-payments and in-platform shopability with the ultimate goal of helping users monetize their skills and passions.