Tokyo-based Shelfy, the company that operates a platform connecting renovation companies and retail store owners, announced on Friday that it has secured seed funding from East Ventures. Funding details have not been disclosed but it’s likely worth around a six-digit number in US dollars.
On the platform, store owners willing to renovate their interiors can invite tenders from renovation companies and compare their estimates before making an order. The company’s CEO Shunki Roy found that there are larger market needs in this sector than he had expected before launching the service. Roy explained:
Most orders about renovating stores ranging from 130 to 200 square meters in size abound. Because the size of their budgets varies, our commission ranges widely, from $1,000 to $10,000.
When we launched the service, we intended to focus more on scaling up our business and acquiring as many store owners and renovation companies as possible. But we will carefully select and acquire from both sides of these.
To streamline the matching process, they found that they should carefully handpick store owners and renovation companies allowed to join the platform. That’s because acquiring skillful finishers while avoiding tire kickers from among the store owners is a must.
Their business is already monetizable. But that’s not only the reason why East Ventures’ Taiga Matsuyama has invested in Shelfy. He said:
I think that Shunki is suitable for this kind of business because he is tough, a survivor. Replacing a conventional business with an online service is very hard to do. So the founder has to be a tough guy.
We want to massively invest in more startups improving real business related to necessities of life.
We’ve recently seen not only online-completition services but also startups solving issues in the real world. Shelfy looks to realize optimization of costs upon renovation.
Shelfy currently serves the greater Tokyo metropolis, which has some 6,000 retail stores opening each year. The company aims to serve 20% of all these store, handling 100 renovation projects a month via the platform annually.