Spruce Up, a home design company founded by e-commerce and lifestyle experts Mia Lewin and Mike Dierken, scored an initial round of funding of $1.5 million.
The backers are known for their expertise in marketplaces, AI, e-commerce and new consumer services, and include Two Sigma Ventures, Madrona Venture Group, Maveron, Female Founders Fund and Peterson Ventures.
“In the age of Pinterest boards, consumers are finding a lot of interior design inspiration online but the style, price and quality considerations are broader than ever before. It’s simply overwhelming for most consumers looking to personalize a space,” said Mia Lewin, founder and chief executive officer. “We are applying data science to the stylist experience to save consumers time and help them avoid costly mistakes. By pairing our customers with their very own home design shopping sherpa, we curate designer looks with handpicked items that specifically fit our customer’s style, budget and needs.”
Curated products have become a big thing over the past few years. The trend’s popularity can be attributed to two things: choice overload and the consumer’s desire to seek expert advice to when choosing what to purchase. Today’s shoppers simply don’t have the time or the attention spans to sift through pages and pages of products.
Add to this the fact that modern shoppers want their brands to engage with them on a personal level, and the relative simplicity of virtual — or human — assistants, the timeliness of tastemaker recommendations, and the individuality of community-curated product selections make perfect sense to ease all that retail stress.
Spruce Up, which operates out of Getspruceup.com, was incubated at Madrona Venture Labs, Madrona Venture Group’s in-house start-up studio led by ceo Mike Fridgen.
“Mia and Mike are exactly what we look for in founders, as they bring domain and technical expertise to an issue that has hit everyone who has ever thought about creating a space that reflects their lifestyle and personality,” Fridgen said.
Lewin is a three-time founder with deep domain expertise in design, e-commerce and lifestyle industries as a ceo, product and business development executive. Dierken, cofounder and chief technology officer, has a deep technical background and has held leadership roles at Amazon and McKinsey & Co., and helped lead a startup through acquisition and to a subsequent initial public offering.