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Meet Imdat As of Arcbazar in Allston

Today we’d like to introduce you to Imdat As.

Imdat, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
Arcbazar (a bazaar for architecture) started after the house market crash of 2008, when years into that event, architecture offices were still going through a very difficult time with no clients and no business. Architects were being laid-off every day.

We realized that the majority of ‘small-to-medium” scale home remodeling projects (ex. kitchens, baths, etc.) never go to an architect. Mainly because these projects are considered too small for an office to take on (homeowners cannot find easily an available architect), and are too expensive. These projects are usually executed with a contractor or as DIY.

We saw an opportunity to bridge homeowners and architects for this type of projects, and bring affordable, creative, high-quality design to “everyday” home remodeling.

Everyone likes design! And homeowners were enthusiastic with the idea of having professional design, while architects were glad to have projects and clients.

We put in place an online global marketplace, where any homeowner, anywhere in the world, can work with architects all around the world as well. Clients receive an average of 10 design solutions per project, and are surely guaranteed to have a design they adore!

In 2011 we incorporated the company, and in 2012 we run our first very small project (converting a closet into a study space for a young school girl, with IKEA furniture). We have come along away, with more than 3,000 projects so far, and 30,000 designers working through Arcbazar on home remodeling, interior design, landscape, commercial, and even small public projects.

Has it been a smooth road?
Not at all! But has been a terrific adventure.

The first struggle was to build trust. We do not have a “physical” product to sell at a specific price. Each project has a different cost and homeowners may like the final designs or not. They don’t know what they are paying upfront. So we relied on risk-takers, early-adopters, willing to take a chance on us. We were lucky to find many engaged clients that became great ambassadors for the company.

Slowly we built a portfolio, and with some crucial initial partnerships (ex. Angie’s List) we got excellent reviews. After that, it all became easier.

The second obstacle, still present, is scaling the company to a level that makes immediate sense for venture funding.

So let’s switch gears a bit and go into the ARCBAZAR story. Tell us more about the business.
We do crowdsourcing architectural design. We use the “creative global mind” to bring quality design concepts and solutions to the everyday home project.

Homeowners run a remodeling project in our platform, designers all around the world provide design solutions, and the client picks the design(s) that he likes. Often, clients are fascinated with the diversity of design.

We are proud with our client satisfaction. We have close to 100% client satisfaction! Clients love the whole process and the designs they receive. They think is a fun, engaging, and creative process, and think the cost is well worth.

We are also proud of helping designers build & boost their careers and businesses with Arcbazar. One of our designers just expanded his office and team to work on landscape projects on our platform!

If Arcbazar were an architecture office “in the traditional sense”, it would be the largest architecture company in the world!

We are elected one of the “100 Brilliant Companies of 2014”. We are also proud of that!

What sets us apart is loving what we do and keep building a platform of excellence that is responsive in real-time to our users (clients & designers). We also strive for a personal informal customer support, and this helps build strong relationships and an enthusiastic supportive community.

How do you think the industry will change over the next decade?
The industry is growing and will continue to grow exponentially, as more and more people are using the internet to acquire services, and now understand and are familiarized with the crowdsourcing model (uberification of services). Also, everyone loves home design (or has a home design project)!

We are disrupting the way homeowners acquire architecture. Next step, we want to disrupt the way design is used in Real Estate!

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