A South Korean startup called Urbanbase that offers virtual reality tools for interior design and planning has said it’s to expand into Asian markets after landing a $1.8 million Series A funding round. The round was led by CKD Venture Capital, with participation from Magellan Technology and Capstone Partners.
Urbanbase was founded by former architect and its current CEO Jinu Ha back in 2013, and has raised around $3 million in total, including earlier seed funding rounds. The company sells software that’s able to transform 2D floor plans into realistic-looking virtual spaces in just two minutes. Urbanspace is focused on disrupting more established VR companies like Matterport, and believes its product is much more accessible to smaller businesses that can’t afford its rival’s expensive 3D cameras.
The way it works is simple enough – just feed your building plans into the software, and it will quickly come up with a 3D rendering that lets users envision how their future homes will look when decorated and furnished to their tastes.
Saejoon Oh, the company’s cofounder and chief strategy officer, told Techcrunch that Urbanspace has already established partnerships with more than 40 furniture companies in Asia. The startup is also working with real estate firms to provide floor plans for numerous apartment buildings in South Korea.
Urbanspace has a huge target market at home because around 60 percent of South Korea’s households live in apartment buildings, Oh said. Using Urbanspace’s platform, small businesses can reach out to these households and better compete with larger retailers such as Ikea, which entered the Korean market in 2014.
Oh said that although Urbanspace doesn’t really have much competition at the moment (with the exception of Matterport in the U.S.), he believes big furniture companies like Ikea will enter the space soon with their own VR offerings.