A Design Unicorn Flashes Its Horn – SURFACE

Unicorn Status: Following on the heels of a staggering $100 million fundraise in 2021, Material Bank has shocked again with the announcement of another $175 million raise, bringing the design startup’s valuation to an eye-popping $1.9 billion. The design and architecture material marketplace’s latest round was led by Canadian investment giant Brookfield with contributions from Fifth Wall, Soft Bank Vision Fund 2, and RXR.

Disrupting the Materials Game: In addition to upping its members from 35,000 to 90,000 since April 2020, Material Bank has amassed around 500 partners—brands who make their samples available on the platform for designers to source. With the latest round of funding, founder Adam Sandow says the company will unveil a new version of its software; digitalize brand catalogs; expand into Europe and Japan; roll out a consumer-focused offering; look for more strategic acquisition opportunities similar to the AI-driven product information manager Amber Engine and b2b furniture-sourcing platform Clippings; expand its peel-and-stick paint sampling marketplace, Samplize; and invest in expansion into residential design.

Quotable: “We’re always thinking, How do we augment Material Bank with additional tools on the platform that will really be as impactful for designers? Things that will help them be more creative, better at their jobs, and save them more time,” Sandow tells Business of Home. “The biggest investment we will make in the next 24 months is to get into the residential market at a massive scale. We will introduce new tools and new options that take resi very, very seriously.”

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