Funding Inhabitr - Image by TheDigitalWay from PixabayInhabitr has raised $27 million in a Series B funding round led by Hamilton Ventures. Hamilton Ventures specialises in investing in early-stage proptech firms. The round was also supported by Great North Ventures, Wintrust Ventures, Nome Capital Partners, Inventus Capital Partners, KAAJ Ventures, FalconX, Chicago Early Growth Ventures, and many other undisclosed strategic investors. Great North Ventures led Inhabitr’s 2019 Series A funding round.

Intelligent and affordable fit outs

Inhabitr provides an AI-powered commercial real estate furnishing solution. It provides an end-to-end solution that enables the fit-out of real estate from design, procurement, installation, and finance. It also offers a refurbishment and re-use option for customers. The firm has also launched a residential service covering seven US cities. Enabling individuals to rent or buy furniture for their residences.

At the heart of the Inhabitr platform is AI technology that blends human expertise with real-time insights. Together they combine furniture inventory, design, measurements and costs. The AI can design diverse floor plan options to suit different pricing or styles. Inhabitr can also provide white-labelled microsites, enabling developers to provide services direct to clients. The platform leverages a vast inventory and uses the power of LLMs to deliver recommendations to customers.

Inhabitr also provides financing options. These enable real estate developers, allowing them to update furniture within their complexes with minimal upfront costs. This funding is another source of income for Inhabitr. It enables them to help support customers in initial fit-outs, paying the money back as they get revenue from tenants, improving cash flow.

Ankur Agrawal, Founder and CEO of Inhabitr (image credit - linkedIn/Ankur Agrawal)
Ankur Agrawal, Founder and CEO of Inhabitr

Ankur Agrawal, Founder and CEO of Inhabitr, commented, “At Inhabitr, we are on a mission to revolutionize the commercial furnishing industry through cutting-edge technology. Unlike traditional residential furniture companies with a professional arm, Inhabitr is purpose-built to address the unique challenges of commercial real estate. Our AI-powered platform, coupled with our extensive network of suppliers and partners, enables us to deliver high-quality, commercial-grade furniture solutions with unparalleled flexibility, speed, cost-efficiency, and sustainability.

“This latest funding round is a testament to our innovative approach and will empower us to accelerate our growth, expand internationally, and continue to transform the commercial furnishing landscape.”

Successful start

Inhabitr has already furnished over 20,000 units for customers. Its model is proven with one project. The furnishing of a 140-room boutique hotel in Hawaii, completed within a five-month time scale. This enabled the developer to achieve six-figure savings overall, eliminated the requirement for a $1 million capital investment. It was also delivered six months faster than promised by competitors.

With its AI-powered platform, custom manufacturing in Vietnam, and a ready distribution network, Inhabitr believes it can deliver furniture solutions 50% faster and at a 30% lower cost than competitors. It is now bringing this service to the UK and the Middle East in earnest. It will be interesting to see whether it can disrupt the traditional market in the UK especially.

Importantly, customers are impressed. Guneet Bajwa, owner of Presidio Companies, commented, “Inhabitr has truly revolutionized the furnishing process for hospitality properties, which historically has always been a cumbersome and fragmented process, having to coordinate multiple vendors for design, procurement, delivery and more. As an owner of various branded hotels, including Marriott, Hilton, and Hyatt properties, we have experienced firsthand the transformative impact of Inhabitr’s AI-powered platform. By consolidating multiple steps into a single seamless solution, Inhabitr has not only accelerated the furnishing process but has also delivered superior quality furniture at a lower cost compared to traditional vendors.”

What about the funding

Inhabitr will use the funding to expand quickly. The company aims to furnish over 100,000 units by the end of 2025. It will also help its growth across the sectors it operates in, such as hospitality, multifamily, and student housing, catering. It will work with both independent and branded properties, from budget to luxury homes. Always with an eye on sustainability, the firm offers clients a green and percentage recycling score for every piece of furniture. Users can configure their requirements and use the AI engine to propose furniture that meets their targets. It will also provide ESG metrics for their choices.

I asked Agrawal what stood out about Hamilton Ventures. He answered, “Hamilton Ventures is a group of PropTech experts who bring deep experience and network to real estate. In the short time of getting to know them, we have already met over 20 client groups through them and found their team very approachable and helpful. We liked being a big fish in a small pond versus being a small fish in a big pond.”

Hamilton Ventures works mainly in the property industry and should continue to provide contacts and assist Inhabitr. Agrawal also revealed that while the board will have new members, it has not disclosed its exact composition. It is unclear whether any partners from Hamilton will join the board, but it seems likely.

Prashant Kothari, Managing Director of Hamilton Ventures, commented, “Investing in Inhabitr and leading the Series B funding round was a natural choice given their remarkable growth trajectory and unwavering commitment to innovation. With one of the best teams we have seen and disruptive AI technology, we believe Inhabitr is well-positioned to continue redefining the B2B furniture landscape. Hamilton is thrilled to support them in their global expansion efforts.”

Investment to fuel global expansion

Inhabitr is also looking to expand beyond the US and increase its presence in the UK and Middle East, where it has a presence in the UAE and Saudi Arabia. The firm also has a presence in India, Vietnam, Bulgaria, and Mexico.

Enterprise Times asked Agrawal about its expansion. The company has three design studios in the US, but none in the UK or Middle East. I asked Agrawal where and when Inhabitr will open design studios in the Middle East and the UK.

Agrawal replied, “The UK studio will be in London and is expected to go live in Q3 2024. The Middle East will have 2 studios in Dubai and Riyadh. We expect the Dubai studio to open in Q2 2024 and Riyadh before the end of the year.”

Outside the US, Inhabitr will initially focus its efforts on commercial real estate, including hospitality, multifamily, and student housing.

In the US, the logistics operation is powered by hubs and warehouses across the country. Some of which are provided by third-party logistics firms. I asked Agrawal how it would support the new operations in the UK and Middle East.

He replied, “Inhabitr is an asset-light platform, and even when it has hubs, these are often a 3rd party managed operation. In UAE and KSA, Inhabitr already has a sizeable 3PL partnership established and has an on-ground supply chain team in training. In the UK, the operations partners are also getting onboarded, with a few partnerships already in place.”

Enterprise Times: What does this mean

Founded in 2018, Inhabitr has brought a technological edge to the outfitting sector. The company now has 150 employees across six countries and it is looking to expand its furnishing services across more countries. With the growth in the Middle East there are many opportunities there for its services.

Within the UK, it may be harder to break into the market, and partnerships may be key to its success. It will be interesting to see which sectors it focuses on. Several growth sectors in the UK might see an advantage to its approach, notably senior living and student accommodation. According to Glenigan, the student housing sector is showing positive signs. With a number of projects moving through the pipeline and a rise of 10% in new projects over the next two years.


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