Made.com, the innovative online furniture retailer, is turning to crowdfunding to unearth its latest must-have designs.
The internet startup, co-founded by serial entrepreneur Brent Hoberman and backed by millions in venture capital cash, is tapping the hive mind and boom in popularity around creative projects on platforms such as Kickstarter and Indiegogo.
The TalentLab platform, which chief executive Philippe Chainieux described as once again changing the landscape of furniture retail, will let designers pitch their ideas, with customers then voting for the ones they want turned into reality.
Buyers will then get early access to items before they go on general sale to the public with a deposit of no more than £30, as well as a discount on the price among the privileges of being a backer.
A new crowdsourced collection will be available every two months and Made.com is aiming to support more than 200 designers every year.
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“We know that there are many adventurous, innovative ideas in the world that never get brought to life," said design director at the online retailer Ruth Wassermann, speaking at London Design Week.
"TalentLAB will help shine a spotlight on creativity, helping designers get a foothold in the industry and helping customers get their hands on new bold designs. And here at Made.com we will get a read on which pieces our customers love, especially the ones that are daring and different.”