According to a report that was released in May this year, interior design market in GCC alone is estimated at $17.7 billion after an increase of $2.2 billion in last 12 months only. But there’s not even one online platform (to our knowledge atleast) that serves this market in anyway.
An Amman-based techie has teamed up with two young architects to change that with their home design platform Darpedia that has raised $200,000 from two angel investors within first month of its launch. Co-founded by Anas Elayyan, Amer Albashir & Eid Alshaer, it is the first regional platform to connect home owners with professionals and suppliers from different categories to help them with everything related to home construction and design.
But that’s not it, they want to go beyond a conventional marketplace, “Darpedia is aspring to be the ultimate encyclopedia for every home in the Middle East. The basic idea behind it is to help people find everything that they need for their home design in one place, get inspired with designs, then connect with local professionals or suppliers that can get the job done.” Anas Elayyan, Co-Founder and CEO of the startup tells us.
Furnishing a home or an apartment is not an easy thing in this part of the world as one has to rely on word of mouth to pick vendors and go through different international sources to find designs. Anas had to go through all his troubles when he was trying to work on his apartment in Amman.
“It took me personally more than 2 years to finish my apartment. I simply didn’t have the time, stamina nor the will to go shop around after work or on weekends for kitchens, tiles, furniture and everything that makes the apartment livable.”
Lucky for him he met his co-founders, Amer Albashir & Eid Alshaer last year, who wanted to start something combining architecture with technology, “A couple of weeks of brainstorming together we came up with the idea of Darpedia.” Anas notes.
Launched less than a month ago, the startup already has more than 40 home professional from Jordan available on their platform. The bi-lingual platform that’s available in both English & Arabic allows these professionals to upload and showcase their products, services, past projects and designs on the platform. Home owners can easily connect with the professionals and suppliers using click-to-call feature or direct messaging to request a quote or inquire more about a specific design or product.
Apart from connecting with the professionals and suppliers, Darpedia also acts as an inspirational platform for home owners. With more than 3,000 interior and exterior designs already available, they intend to inspire and help people with anything related to home design.
For home owners, the website is and would stay completely free. For professionals and suppliers however, they have a freemium model. So professionals can sign up on the platform without having to pay anything but if they need extra features, there are three different subscription types starting from $500 per year. Currently more than 90% of the professionals on the website are using paid subscriptions.
With a team of seven based in Amman, Darpedia has plans to expand regionally in next few months. Even though their operations are based in Amman, the platform is open to home owners and professionals from anywhere. They hope that the operational expansion will help them scale in other regional markets quickly.