Livspace offers one-stop platform for home renovations

By Charlene Chin / EdgeProp Singapore | March 19, 2021 6:00 AM SGT
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SINGAPORE (EDGEPROP) - Those going through a home renovation will understand the frustrations of juggling the multiple timelines and tasks of getting the house in order. From demolition and construction to design and furniture installation, the project to revamp a house is a cumbersome one. Aware of the gap in the market, interior design and renovations platform Livspace was built with the vision to “organise the [renovation] supply chain and digitise it”, says Anuj Srivastava, its co-founder and CEO.
Landed-property-near-Brooks-Park - EDGEPROP SINGAPORE
Livspace designed this 3,229 sq ft, three-storey landed property near Brooks Park (Credit: Livspace)
“You’d be surprised at how chaotic the home improvement and renovation supply chain is, which is why nobody’s actually been able to create a very predictable consumer experience,” he adds.
The Livspace platform will give interior designers an array of fittings and furnishings to choose from, speeding up the design process. “Let’s say the designers start designing a kitchen. The system will automatically show a kitchen, and create a shopping cart of all the components that are going towards that kitchen, and all the labour that is needed,” Srivastava says.
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“That is the innovation. You are linking effectively a service that was previously provided by contractors, and you are actually using e-commerce principles to create a shopping cart of products and services,” he adds.
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The landed home near Brooks Park features a predominantly blue theme (Credit: Livspace)

Design-and-build process

From there, once a homeowner is happy with a design proposal, he can start the project by paying 10% of the quote price. Upon finalising the design — which includes picking all the products and finishes — customers then pay the next 40% when the order is placed. As a renovation project may comprise several purchases of items, the order is automatically broken into sub-orders for different brands and contractors.
Once on-site work starts, customers receive regular updates from an interior designer and an appointed project manager. The latter is a Livspace employee who will see through the entire end-to-end process of the renovation. Before delivery of all products to the site, customers pay 45% of the quote price, and the balance 5% payment is made once handover is done.
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This three-room, 30-year-old HDB unit along Havelock Road was renovated and painted all-white inside for a young couple (Credit: Livspace)
Some 75–80% of the designers on the platform are freelancers, while 20–25% are in-house staff, Srivastava says. Potential customers interested in Livspace’s services will be matched to an interior designer through its algorithm, equipped with an accompanying bio of the designer and his past design projects. Customers will not be able to choose between an in-house designer and a freelance one, but Srivastava ensures that there will always be an appointed Livspace personnel overseeing the entire project.
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Since launching an office in Singapore in 2019, Livspace has serviced customers who stay in HDBs flats, condominiums, and landed homes. About 60% of its projects are HDB homes, with the remainder comprising condominium units and landed homes. The average timeline for an end-to-end design and renovation project for an HDB Build-To-Order (BTO) unit is about 3–3½ months, says Srivastava, while condominiums probably take about 1½ months more.
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This four-room HDB BTO unit at Bidadari Park Drive was designed with a Scandinavian-eclectic theme (Credit: Livspace)

Expansion plans

Livspace first launched in India back in 2015. In 2019, the start-up received an undisclosed sum from Ingka Investments, the venture-capital arm of Ikea parent company Ingka Group. In the same year, it expanded operations in Singapore.
This January, Ikea announced its partnership with Livspace at the launch of the Ikea planning studio in Jurong Point. At the store, customers can renovate, build and fit-out their homes, picking from an exhaustive catalogue of Ikea merchandise on Livspace’s platform.
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With aggressive expansion plans, Livspace hopes to launch in key gateway cities like Kuala Lumpur, Jakarta and Bangkok within the next 18–24 months. When asked if the expansion will be done in collaboration with Ikea, Srivastava replies that “it’s too early to say”. Beyond Southeast Asia, Srivastava shares that he is also “very excited” about Australia, the UAE, and Saudi Arabia, which he describes as “very large markets”.
In fact, “the more fragmented the supply chain economy is, the better it is for platforms”, he says, noting the opportunities that lie ahead.

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