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OCCO is an up-and-coming Estonian DesignTech startup on a mission to digitalise the interior design industry. For interior architects, this means no more stacks of paper catalogues, PDFs or countless emails.
Ander Sõõrumaa and Paul Veetõusme started OCCO by offering high-quality and well thought out turnkey solutions. Today, they are changing the interior design industry with a platform for interior architects. The AI-powered platform helps save time on product search and project management. More than 300 interior architects and 800 European furniture and design brands have joined the platform. Now, OCCO is preparing to receive series A funding in order to expand further in Europe and scale faster.
OCCO’s main focus is disruption of the interior design industry through its platform: it simplifies time-consuming tasks and provides a variety of features and benefits that make professional interior design processes effective and convenient. OCCO’s AI-based platform already helps hundreds of architects and the team is constantly working to develop the product based on user feedback.
„Our extensive database helps interior architects to find suitable products and needed alternatives faster than ever, therefore saving time and money. Interior architects also have a real-time overview of the projects, products, and budgets – all in one place,“ says Ander Sõõrumaa, CEO and co-founder.
The proof that OCCO’s founders are not just throwing big words around is OCCO’s impressive user base and prominent investors. OCCO raised 750 000 euros in this year’s seed round, with the main investor being Oliver Ahlberg, founder of Skeleton Technologies. Ahlberg is definitely a man familiar with disrupting industries; he believes in letting go of worn out processes. “I think, for many people, it would seem rather archaic to buy a plane ticket from a travel agency or order something from a paper catalogue. But that’s the daily life of interior architects: paper catalogues, emails, resellers. OCCO’s aim is to innovate all that and that’s what appealed to me. I’ve always believed that if something was done the same way 15 years ago as it is today, it’s a great opportunity to create value.”
Sõõrumaa adds that instead of countless emails and negotiating delivery times over the phone, OCCO is digitising the whole process. „We are expanding our platform in Europe, but actually our platform is scalable all over the world.“
Market-wise, OCCO is focusing on expansion in Europe, emphasizing that all the manufacturers on their digital platform are also European. “In Europe, we have strong connections to all the manufacturers as we have been working with them for years and they really deliver what they’ve promised. Quality in all parts of our processes is crucial for us,” says Paul Veetõusme.
Headquartered in Tallinn, OCCO also opened an office in Amsterdam last year. Ander Sõõrumaa points out that an architect in the Netherlands or Germany does projects for their clients all over Europe and the OCCO platform can be used anywhere – physical location is not a limitation anymore.
OCCO prioritizes customer centricity and focuses on making their product as user-friendly as possible. “We know that everyone says – “we listen to our clients”. But we are really listening to them! We are doing the platform for the user, so we have to collect feedback daily and make sure our features really work for the architects around the world,” says Sõõrumaa. “For example, we have an in-house user experience team so we do user studies to decide how to develop our platform best.”
But how big should the clients’ budgets be? OCCO founders say there is no minimum or maximum limit as the products cover wide price ranges. “One of the most important features for the platform is that if the interior architect finds a piece of furniture and its price exceeds the budget, our AI-based system offers you similar products in alternative price ranges to stay within the budget,” explains Paul Veetõusme.
OCCO’s series A funding round is ongoing and they are currently looking for investors ready to partner and share knowledge. OCCO hopes eventually to create a community of interior architects as they build out their marketplace and AI succeeds in automating even more tasks.