Architizer, a New York-based online marketplace for architectural construction projects, has raised $2 million in seed money.
The money positions the company to go after what chief executive and cofounder Marc Kushner says is a $200 billion global construction supplies market.
The 15-person startup bills itself as the net’s largest “online source” in the global architectural market. The company allows firms to post photos, video and details of projects. It charges construction suppliers, who make everything from furniture to concrete, a $95 to $600 monthly recurring fee to link with builders and products.
Kushner launched his firm as a side project in 2009 when he couldn’t find a job as an architect after graduating from the University of Pennsylvania.
Kushner, a New Jersey native, politely declined to speak about revenues or what his company’s burn rate is, but said business is booming. Architizer’s numbers, according to Kushner, seem to back him up. The site hosts 51,000 building projects, from private homes to massive commercial retail projects, with over 30,000 architecture firms onboard. Architizer also has over 1 million Facebook followers.
Architizer launched with $1 million raised from Kushner’s family and friends. The city of New York also recently gave the firm $250,000 to help relocate the company to lower Manhattan. Kushner grew up in New Jersey as the son of a real estate developer and describes himself as the “black sheep of the family for becoming an architect.”
“Manufacturers are desperate to get their products online. Architects from all over the world are telling us ‘Man, you guys have something going on,'” Kushner said.
The seed round was led by investors Alessandro Piol, Joanne Wilson, and Gaspar Global Ventures. Money was also raised by private investors who wished to remain anonymous.
Architizer is not the only startup in the space and counts Houzz and McGraw Hill as its primary competitors. The company has its work cut out for it: Houzz, a Palo Alto based startup launched around the same time as Architizer, has raised over $50 million in venture and private funding and has already established itself as a go-to platform for the architecture, landscaping, and home improvement community.
Kushner is unfazed by the challenges.
“We’ve become huge in the institutional and construction space. Architecture is the last frontier. It acts as a portal for access to the consumer architecture marketplace,” Kushner said.