Start-up check

Apartmen - furnishing service for men

Often it is women who are enthusiastic about the process of furnishing, whereas men are more interested in the result instead of a large selection. Their shopping behaviour is completely different. A start-up now wants to help men with furnishing.

Oct 27 2021

The tech start-up Apartmen wants to help helpless single men and brings personal style into flats. The founders Louisa Verch and Marc Bartscht explain how this works in an interview. 

How would you describe your start-up Apartmen in three sentences to someone who hasn't heard of it before? 

Apartmen is the AI home stylist. We develop fully automated room concepts for (single) men, since 80 percent of companies in the home & living sector target the female buyer group. Our vision is to revolutionise the industry & make it more diverse.  

So Apartmen is a tech start-up. You work extensively with AI and AR technology to create beautiful homes for men. How do you succeed with the use of technology?  

The customer goes through a style test that we developed together with interior designers and psychologists. On the one hand, of course, we ask about the room conditions, but we want to focus more on the customer: what makes him tick, what kind of lifestyle he cultivates. Based on this, a furnishing concept is then created for the customer using technology and played out directly. By means of augmented reality, they will be able to see this in their own four walls in the future and then simply order the said concept or individual products through us.  

To get an idea of what men really want when it comes to furnishing, you conducted an empirical survey with almost 500 participants. What were the core results you were able to gain in terms of "men + furnishings"? 

80 percent of marketing expenditure in home & living is directed at the female buyer group. Men don't necessarily feel picked up here and that became clear quite quickly in the study. More than 60 percent of men have little interest in dealing with the furniture shopping process, are overwhelmed by the selection of products, and are reluctant to invest much time in the process. Nevertheless, they want to have a cosy and beautiful flat that is also presentable for family and friends. This is where we come in with Apartmen and #fittinginteriorinnotime. 

What is the biggest difference between men and women when it comes to furnishing their own homes?  

It may sound very stereotypical, but it applies to a large part of society, as our study proves: women like to be inspired, are more likely to deal with the topic of furnishings, and can get excited about the process of gathering inspiration until the final purchase. Men, on the other hand, are often most excited about the finished end result and occasionally still get enthusiastic about the construction of the products. That's why with Apartmen we take the entire "upstream" process off the customer's hands, in which men would otherwise have to gather inspiration and assemble the furniture. 

After the furnishing style has been defined by your customer in a first step, the purchase follows in a second step - i.e. putting together the matching furniture, the delivery and the assembly of the furnishings at the customer's home. Who do you work with for this?  

We work with strong cooperation partners here, for whom we are very grateful that they believe in us and the business model from hour zero. Since we can give our client the possibility to choose certain budget categories, we have a variety of partners from budget to premium, but we are very careful not to dilute the brands in the portfolio. Furthermore, we have a high quality standard and pay strong attention to where the products come from, which materials are used and how they have been manufactured. 

What are Apartmen's next steps? Do you have any ideas for the further development of the platform? 

We are looking forward to further developing our platform in a more customer-centric way and to winning more sustainable product partners for us. In addition, we do not rule out further development of the business model for the B2B sector.  

The two founders and partners behind the Hamburg-based start-up Apartmen are Louisa Verch and Marc Bartscht. Louisa Verch, who is also the initiator of the women's network Women in Furniture, worked in a digital consultancy for the furniture industry before founding Apartmen. At Apartmen, she is responsible for strategic orientation and product development. Marc Bartscht has his professional background in the financial sector: with experience in the digitalisation of family offices, he is responsible for IT and finance at Apartmen. 

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