Next Up for R.I.P.? Havenly!

Those who blog know what joy it is when you can use an image that is already in your media library! It saves a lot of searching, cutting, resizing, etc.

And I should have known when I first found the tombstone with RIP on it to use when describing the demise of Home Polish, that I’d be able to use it again, soon. In fact, I’m pretty sure that as I monitor the mushroom forest of online design concepts, I’ll be able to use that tombstone countless times!

In this case, Havenly is not actually dead yet, just running on fumes. And how do we know that? Because they just raised another $32 million in venture capital. That’s on top of the $12.5 million they raised in an earlier round, which was on top of the $13 million they raised before that.

But isn’t it a good sign that venture capitalists are still willing to invest millions in this designer matching service?

No. You don’t need venture capital if you’re earning a decent profit. And venture capitalists notoriously fail far more often than they succeed. What tempts them is an enormous potential market. As everyone with a brain knows, the “enormous” market Havenly is chasing is not and never has been, design fee income. Like Home Polish, Houzz, and all the rest of them, they know the big kahuna is in the furniture! They view you as nothing more than a gatekeeper between the customer and the merchandise orders they want to control.

They view you as nothing more than a gatekeeper between the customer and the merchandise orders they want to control.

In fact, that may be why a money-losing company like Havenly was able to score more millions—because they are introducing their own private label lines of furniture.

By the way, I think the bio of Havenly’s founder will interest you. As with virtually all online “e-design” firms, her background has nothing to do with design. That’s never their interest. If you take venture capital, your interest is (or had better be) getting a return on investment for your investors and getting it fast. I could have absolutely predicted founder Lee Mayer’s background.

Mayer attended not one but two Ivy League schools, Columbia and Harvard where she received her MBA. After a few years in New York City working in consulting, she decided to migrate out west and settle in Denver where she worked at the publicly traded digital lead generation company, Bankrate.

A “publicly traded digital lead generation company?” A 100% “click bait” company? An internet company? A company many people think of as SPAM? Yes…and those are exactly the talents she brought to Havenly.

Gee, I wonder, like Home Polish, how many interior designers Havenly will leave holding the bag when they file bankruptcy. I give that about 18 months.

And if you think I sound a tad angry over this story, and others like it…well…I am! It makes me mad when these technology companies spend their millions ruining SEO and search for legitimate interior designers (like you) and even more so, when interior designers assume these companies are making money and charting a path to the future of the industry.

Nothing could be further from the truth. Look at where these online design companies are going…and run as fast as you can in the other direction!

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