You’re a few years out of college, maybe at your second job, and it’s hit you that you’re slightly embarrassed by your bean bag chair and Craigslist couch from senior year. Hutch, a new app launching on Thursday, is targeting the restless young professional who’s looking to lead a grown-up lifestyle without the hassle or expenses of hiring a professional decorator.
Hutch is an app for iOs and Android that allows you to virtually transform any room in your home by testing out a variety of themes, ranging from Boho to Urban Industrial, and get a quick snapshot of a designer-styled space, with a quick swipe of the finger, much like Tinder. You can then order any of the items you see in the image.
“We’re developing a proprietary photo technology that recognizes the structure of the user’s space and places products in it,” says Ben Broca, co-founder and head of product & technology at Hutch. “It’s similar to what Snapchat filters do to your face, but for furniture shopping.”
Hutch is the second iteration of the chat-based design app Homee, which was featured on ABC’s “Shark Tank” in May 2015. The team initially landed a deal with Barbara Corcoran — $100,000 for a third of the business — but ultimately, the deal fell through.
Tinder co-founder and chairman Sean Rad was watching the episode and saw the potential for the company. Hutch co-founder and CEO Beatrice Fischel-Bock told Yahoo Finance that Rad has been vital in helping her reposition Homee to Hutch and home in on what users want.
“Sean is extremely active in our company, especially on the product side. He’s my personal mentor,” she said. “He really helped us scale fast and advised us to have thoughtful conversations with clients.”
“I’m so impressed by the traction Homee has gotten in the marketplace. I’m even more impressed by the team’s ability to rapidly improve the product based on user feedback,” Rad said in the company’s press release.
Fischel-Bock said she scrapped Homee’s chat model because it wasn’t quite what consumers were looking for. “They would end up having to pay for for the feature,” she explained.
Fischel-Bock describes the price point as around the range of modern furniture store CB-2.
“Our customers are at their second or third job and they’re making a salary that’s decent enough and they care about what’s in their homes. We’re targeting young couples, young moms who don’t have the time to decorate and dudes who wouldn’t be touching a thing and their moms would be doing it,” she said.
When asked whether her customers actually have enough discretionary income to use the app regularly, Fischel-Bock said 30% of Homee users were repeat clients.
“People like a certain look and they’re at that stage where they’re ready to spend more. Add a piece of artwork or a new couch. We’re hoping that you can actually play with the different options and the conversation is personal, fun and shareable.”
“Everyone ends up needing a sofa,” she added. “Instead of spending that money by yourself and regretting your decision, this gives you a template to work from.”