Estonian DesignTech startup OCCO raises around $1M to modernize the interior design industry and expand its footprint in Europe
Over the last ten years, artificial intelligence has disrupted many industries including banking, healthcare, medicine, and law. The disruption has also brought about exponential growth, fueled by increased productivity and efficiency.
However, one sector still remains outdated and ripe for disruption–the interior design industry. This has also created opportunities for innovative startups to bring about the interior design industry to the 21st century.
One of those startups is OCCO, an Estonian DesignTech startup that offers an AI-powered platform for interior design professionals that saves valuable time on product search and project management, is poised to innovate the interior design industry. The company’s focus is to disrupt the outdated interior design industry and bring innovation to design professionals.
OCCO’s platform has currently digitized the product catalogs of more than 800 high-quality interior design brands from Europe. Having access to these products from one source has been found to shave off 27% of monthly working hours for interior design professionals.
Today, OCCO announced it has completed its maiden investment round, raising €750k to expand to new markets in Europe. The round was backed by the main investor Oliver Ahlberg, founder of Skeleton Technologies. In conjunction with the funding, OCC also announced that Ahlberg will also join its board of advisors to support the company’s expansion and help raise finance for future growth plans.
Founded by CEO Ander Sõõrumaa and Paul Hion, the OCCO platform has digitized the product catalogs of more than 800 high-quality interior design brands from Europe. Having access to these products from one source has been found to shave off 27% of monthly working hours for interior design professionals.
In a statement, Sõõrumaa said, “OCCO’s AI-based platform already helps hundreds of designers, and we are constantly working on developing this product based on user feedback.” OCCO’s extensive database helps interior designers and architects find suitable products or alternatives faster than ever, thereby saving time and money
During its soft launch, OCCO has already secured 250 users from the Netherlands and Estonia and increased its yearly revenue to €7m. Jan Plaan, CEO of Arhitekt11, sees good potential for the OCCO platform to become an everyday tool for interior designers.
“In our team, we see an important place for the platform in future interior design projects, especially from the point of view of a more professional and efficient service,” Plaan added.
According to interior architect Casper Schwarz, the platform has provided surprising and exciting search results that have led him and his team to different choices and proposals in their interior design projects. “It is great to learn about new or unfamiliar manufacturers and their products. It saves us time in research for new products and it makes it easier to find solutions within our projects’ budget boundaries,” Schwartz adds.
“I think for many people it would seem rather archaic to buy a plane ticket from a travel agency or order something from a paper catalog. But that’s the daily life of interior designers: paper catalogs, emails, resellers,” says investor Oliver Ahlberg, explaining the need for OCCO’s digital solution in the market.
“OCCO’s aim is to innovate all that and that’s what appealed to me. I’ve always believed that if something was done the same way 15 years ago as it is today, it’s a great opportunity to create value,” Ahlberg added.