WoodBOX is a startup that produces augmented and virtual reality based furniture. It was launched in October 2015. The idea of this startup first came to Shalil Khanna, who had been in the wooden furniture business for decades. Shalil used to manufacture high quality solid wood furniture, which, though widely accepted, weren’t that customizable.
He was later joined by Krishnakant Thakur and Anurag Mehrotra who had known Shalil since childhood. The three of them started woodBOX, a consumer oriented brand of wooden products, but, the idea of augmented reality wasn’t yet incorporated. It was introduced by Anurag’s childhood friend Gautam Singh, who had prior experience with consumer-facing motion-sensing technology.
How it started?
Each of the 4 co-founders had a unique expertise to contribute to this venture. Anurag Mehrotra and Krishnakant Thakur are both MBA holders with a financial background. Shalil Khanna had the experience of running his own furniture company while Gautam Singh had served established IT companies from India and the US. Krishnakant has stated that neither the high-end retail showrooms nor the marketplace provide customization and people are stuck with typical mundane designs. WoodBOX came up with an innovative solution to this problem by creating a curated inventory of high quality customized sofas and furniture designs with thousands of options to choose from.
Implementing Augmented Reality
They introduced an augmented reality app called WBinteriAR using which the customers can easily visualize the products while sitting in their own homes. WBinteriAR provides a superior consumer experience by providing a smoother discovery process and with the visualization of showroom furniture in the living room. The app was introduced in December 2015.
The company has successfully closed more than 30 deals each of which was priced about 80,000. WoodBOX has also bagged in a number of orders from B2B and B2C channels. It has raised a seed funding of $130,000 and aims to expand the business to over 20 other countries by the end of 2016.
The Bottom Line
It is being said that augmented and virtual reality has already occupied about 5% of traditional media market space and is going to touch about 659.98 million dollars soon. Furdo is another such furniture brand that uses augmented and virtual reality. The design and décor market in India is estimated to have grown to from 3 billion dollars in 2010 to over 25 billion dollars by 2015 with a 25% growth each year.
The introduction of companies like Pepperfry and UrbanLadder have brought along a shift in the furniture buying behavior of Indian consumers who usually possess a carpenter made or family/legacy owned furniture. The innovative usage of an emerging technology and the favorable shift in the market seem to have worked well for this startup.