Imagine if you could hire someone to browse your Pinterest boards and translate your pins into a perfectly decorated room or better yet, your dream home. That is the essence of digital interior design, a service now available in the MENA region courtesy of a platform known as Moodfit.
Moodfit is a Lebanon-based, personalized online decorating service and is the region’s first design startup to leverage crowdsourcing, offering users the chance to experience the luxury of an interior designer, a service that until now was often reserved for the wealthy.
The startup is the brainchild of Ghassan Abi Fadel, Tarek el Jaroudi, and Mohamad Sabouneh, three entrepreneurs who met during an AUB MBA entrepreneurship course in 2014. The trio wanted to start a business that benefited from both their diverse backgrounds and from the business expertise that the MBA program provided and the idea was conceived ‘when the Designer, the Operations Manager, and the Venture Capitalist teamed up to create a solution that democratizes interior design.’
The initial funding that allowed the founders to transform Moodfit from concept to reality came from winning first prize in AUB’s Darwazah Student Innovation Contest in June 2015. The trio also went on to receive another $15,000 through the Kafalat SME program, and $3,000 through the IDEAL Business Competition.
Here’s how it works. To begin with, the user takes a one-minute design quiz to reveal their style, and get directed towards designers who best fit their taste. Upon completing the design quiz, users are asked to fill in a brief questionnaire about their space, choose a design package, and then view and select their favorite matching designer.
After having chosen their favorite designer, the client can then interact with him/her for a period of two weeks via Moodfit’s online Design Board to create their dream space. Finally, once they are satisfied with the results, the client receives a furniture plan as well as a discounted shopping list from the featured suppliers.
While working with an interior designer can cost thousands of dollars, clients can get an entire room designed (or redesigned) for little as $300 via Moodfit’s Classic Package. For clients with a bigger budget, the Premium Package, rated at $500/room, puts them in contact with Moodfit’s top designers. Moreover, all Moodfit clients receive a 10 to 30 percent discount on the furniture they buy as part of the process.
To date, Moodfit have completed more than twenty-five projects and two since the launching of their new platform. In addition to Lebanon, Moodfit have also completed projects in the USA and UAE, with plans to cover the entire MENA region after establishing a core team in Lebanon and fine-tuning their partnership model with suppliers and designers.
Although the team currently consists of only the 3 cofounders and the CTO, the trio is looking to raise $500k for this seed round to build their team and spend on marketing. Having already secured $150K in verbal commitments from angel investors, they are looking to close the round in order to concentrate on growing and scaling the company.
Since the release of the new platform, the Moodfit team has aimed to increase their traffic organically through social media, digital media and online influencers. Their next steps consist of creating partnerships with real estate development companies, banks, and furniture suppliers as well as hopefully launching an app in early 2017.