IdeaRoom closes a $3M investment with Arthur Ventures
by IdeaRoom Technologies, on Aug 10, 2022 9:00:00 AM
IdeaRoom is thrilled to announce a $3M funding round to further development of its 3D e-commerce platform for build-to-order industries. The cash infusion comes from Arthur Ventures, contributing to a Series A that will fuel investments in strategic hiring and ongoing product initiatives. IdeaRoom now supports over 300 clients across the United States, Canada, the UK and Australia.
We took a moment to check in with Co-Founder & CEO Russ Whitney to reflect on IdeaRoom’s journey to date, growing a business in Boise, Idaho, and his vision for the future.
Russ, I want to start with a simple question for those who may be unfamiliar with the IdeaRoom product. What is a 3D configurator?
Sure! 3D configurators are online tools that let customers examine a product from every angle, adding and subtracting features in real time to see how the product and pricing changes.
So let’s say you need a shed, but want it to match the color and trim style of your house. And maybe you’re not sure what size you need, or where it would fit within your backyard.
If you find a shed supplier who uses the IdeaRoom platform, you could design and price a shed from your smartphone, see how it looks next to your garden with our Augmented Reality (AR) viewer, and then make your purchase. It’s very fun, and very easy.
Makes sense! It seems like 3D configurators provide a ton of value to the average consumer. Have you found that 3D configurators promote or discourage any behaviors in particular?
You bet. Prospects who design buildings in the IdeaRoom system tend to design larger and more attractive structures. This creates an uplift in sales for the building vendors we work with. We also see that leads who come through our configurators are better educated, more likely to turn into customers, and do so on much faster timelines. So… lots of sales and marketing outcomes!
Oh wow, that sounds like a serious way to improve your business. How did you build IdeaRoom’s 3D configurators to be so impactful? I’ve seen some other 3D solutions and it seems like these outcomes are not necessarily guaranteed….
I like to think that we got here by being obsessed with the consumer experience. IdeaRoom’s customers are companies who sell structures, but the UI of the configurators were constructed so that anyone, anywhere can create the building of their dreams. We spend a ton of time making that process as engaging and seamless as possible.
Amazing! So were things always this seamless for IdeaRoom?
Ha! Not quite. In our early days, we actually used to build completely customized solutions for individual clients. Cabinet configurators, yurt configurators… you name it! We ultimately realized that it was much more effective to create a configurator platform so that we could focus on innovation and ongoing improvements, as opposed to building solutions from scratch again and again.
I’m assuming this means that you didn’t go with a platform for the yurt industry…
Sadly we did not. Today we have a solution for the shed, carport and large steel building industries.
Interesting! Why these industries (and not yurts)?
We go after industries that have a market cap sufficient to meet our growth goals, but not so large that they have established software solution providers. This lets us get in, capture market share, and then add another industry of larger size.
When I hear "configurator platform" I think "high tech". Why did you choose to launch your business in Boise, Idaho compared to a hot spot like Silicon Valley?
Not everyone realizes this, but Boise is its own tech hot spot! The Treasure Valley has produced some incredible, highly valued software companies from T-Sheets to Kount, and we will be next!
That being said, the number one reason we chose Boise is quality of life. Idaho is a geographically stunning state, and most of our employees spend their weekends enjoying some combination of wilderness adventures from hiking to camping to back country skiing. It's hard to walk through our office without spotting a mountain bike.
Work hard, play hard! Now that you have a healthy round of funding from Arthur Ventures, what are your plans for the future?
To start, we are growing our team like crazy. We now have over 40 employees and are staffing up some pretty innovative product teams. In addition to improving our platform across the board, we are laying the groundwork for our fourth industry.
I’m assuming you want to keep that fourth industry under wraps. But as the last question before I let you go… would you be able to tell me about a super snazzy feature that you are most excited to release?
Sure! I’ll give you two words: Social Sharing….
Now that will be awesome for consumers!
We think so too. Stay tuned!