|Headquarters||Palo Alto, CA, USA|
|Founder(s)||Adi Tatarko |
|Alexa rank||1,517 (June 2018)|
|Users||40 million +|
Houzz is a website and online community about architecture, interior design and decorating, landscape design and home improvement. It was founded in 2009 and is based in Palo Alto, California, United States.
Houzz co-founders Adi Tatarko and Alon Cohen launched the site in February 2009 as a result of their own remodeling project. In addition to finding it difficult to communicate their vision for their home, the founders found it difficult to find the right professionals for their project. What started as a side project to help with Tatarko and Cohen's own home remodel soon spread by word-of-mouth and they began to receive emails from homeowners and home professionals outside the San Francisco Bay Area asking them to open more categories on Houzz and expand to other areas. Houzz became a company in the fall of 2010.
In November 2010, Houzz released an app for the iPad. The Android version of the app was released in December 2012. In January 2014, Houzz announced that it had opened offices and hired local managers in the UK, Germany and Australia to accelerate its global expansion; 35% of the company's site traffic already came from outside the U.S. In December 2014, Houzz announced its expansion to the rest of Europe and into Asia, starting with Japan.
Product & Technology
In July 2013, Houzz introduced the Real Cost Finder, an interactive tool that helps users plan home renovations and total costs. The tool is based on data collected from the Houzz community. In February 2014, Houzz launched Site Designer, a free website building and publishing tool for home professionals. Websites are connected to a pro's Houzz profile, “which allow them to easily pull in their images, reviews and other information from their existing profiles.” In May 2015, Houzz introduced Houzz TV. Houzz introduced Sketch for Android in January 2016. Sketch is also available as a web app. In February 2016, Houzz introduced View in My Room within its app for iOS and Android that lets users virtually place products from the Houzz Marketplace in their homes before buying. In March 2016, Houzz announced that it had opened its Commerce API to third party partners, with Shopify as a first point of integration, to make it easier for merchants to sell and manage their inventory on Houzz. In September 2016, Houzz launched Visual Match, a new visual recognition tool that "uses deep learning technology to analyze more than 11 million home photos on Houzz. Furniture and decor that looks similar to the six million products on the Houzz Marketplace is then surfaced for users to browse (and hopefully buy)." In May 2017, Houzz introduced a new tool for its iPhone and iPad app, View in My Room 3D, that allows people to preview over 300,000 products in 3D within the context of their own rooms. With the launch of iOS 11 from Apple in September 2017, Houzz introduced an upgraded version of its 3D AR tool within its app for iPhone and iPad, which lets people see and move 500,000 products in their rooms. The Houzz App for Andorid devices was updated with ARCore support in March 2018, enabling users to "place virtual representations of furniture and other home decor items anywhere in their home to see how they would look." 
Houzz made its first acquisition in 2015, "buying gardening and home advice site GardenWeb from NBCUniversal."
Home design photo database
As of December 2014, there were millions of images of home interiors and exteriors on Houzz. Homeowners browse photos by room, style and location, and bookmark photos in personal collections the site calls “ideabooks.” Images had been added to ideabooks hundreds of millions of times. Users can click on an image to learn more about the designer, ask a question, and learn about products tagged in the photos.
Houzz has a directory of home improvement professionals who use the site to connect with homeowners. The platform can be used for consumers to search through different types of professionals for hire, view their previous projects, and begin a discussion with them with questions and inquiries, to ultimately hire them.
The magazine Real Simple called Houzz "the online equivalent of clipping décor images from magazines". Bloomberg Businessweek called Houzz "An online antidote to the housing bust." Architectural Digest wrote, "This app will stoke your imagination." TechCrunch wrote, "Houzz appears to be a decent idea that's been executed well." The Mercury News wrote, "You'll find ... ideas for your swipe file there that you and your architect can both contribute to and comment on." The Wall Street Journal said “Houzz is ... a well of inspiration at the tip of your swiping fingers" and asserted that the app is one of the few nongame apps on iOS that have a 5 star rating.[not in citation given]
In May 2016, Houzz won "Best App" at Google's inaugural Play Awards. "User experience and high star ratings" were among the factors considered by Google's panel. In May 2018, Houzz was named the 40th Annual Entrepreneurial Company of the Year by the Harvard Business School Association of Northern California.
In October 2015, Houzz settled a lawsuit to, "to resolve allegations that the company violated California privacy laws by recording incoming and outgoing telephone calls without notifying all parties on the call that they were being recorded".
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- "Entrepreneurial Company of the Year". HBS Association of Northern California.
- "Attorney General Kamala D. Harris Announces Settlement with Houzz, Inc. Over Privacy Violations" (Press release). Office of the Attorney General, State of California Department of Justice. October 2, 2015. Retrieved February 2, 2015.
- Dremann, Sue (7 October 2015). "Houzz Inc. settles privacy-violation case". paloaltoonline.com. Retrieved 5 June 2019.