Zillow Invests in Augmented Reality Interior Design App Hutch
Hutch Interiors, Inc., makers of an eponymous augmented reality home design app for iOS and Android, has closed a series A round of funding, led by online real estate company Zillow Group, totaling $10 million.
However, the app takes more of an interior design approach, allowing users to apply and adjust design filters to renderings of virtually-cleared spaces based on specific aesthetics, such as bohemian or trendsetter. Users can create one free design per 24 hour period, but an in-app purchase of $4.99 unlocks additional designs.
The funding will enable the company to continue development and growth of the app and its functionality. Spencer Rascoff, CEO of Zillow Group, will have a seat on Hutch's board of directors as a result of the deal.
"Spencer's extensive knowledge of consumers, technology, and real estate make him a natural fit for our board and look forward to his input as we continue to rapidly grow and scale our business," said Beatrice Fischel-Bock, CEO and co-founder of Hutch Interiors, Inc. via news release.
Zillow Group counts websites Zillow, Trulia, RealEstate.com, and other brands among its portfolio of products, with their iOS apps for Zillow Real Estate and Trulia Real Estate ranking first and fifth, respectively, among free lifestyle apps in the App Store. With their mission of connecting people to homes, whether through lease or ownership, the expansion of their interests into emerging technologies is a logical future-facing strategy.
A huge hurdle both renters and buyers face is envisioning themselves in a new home. By investing in Hutch, we are enabling breakthrough innovation that enhances online home shopping and design experiences. Hutch's augmented reality technology has the potential to be transformative to the home shopping process and we are excited for the opportunity to help them grow.
However, it was a "good news, bad news" day for Zillow Group, with rumors about a potential competitor filling out the latter.
A report suggests that Amazon is making a move into real estate services. While the placeholder "Hire a Realtor" page has since been taken down, the damage has been done, as shares of Zillow Group fell 3.97 percent to $1.83.