$15 million investment in category disruptor and online window furnishing company, DIY Blinds

Digital disruption is hardly a new concept, and while its impact has been felt in various sectors such as photography (Kodak) and filmmaking (Blockbuster), others have remained relatively unaffected. For the home improvement industry, the continued evasion of digital disruption has come to an end.

In 2015, window furnishings company DIY Blinds was formed as a small side hustle by two colleagues from the finance sector. Fast forward to today, after years of impressive growth, and the business is now the recipient of a $15 million investment from ABGF.

From bricks to clicks

DIY Blinds’ shift away from an antiquated brick-and-mortar business model has resulted in a distinctive value proposition for customers who can easily buy premium window furnishings online. Offering faster lead times and better pricing on Australian-made products, DIY Blinds’ online approach to window furnishings means no more 100% sales commissions, lengthy delays and varying degrees of quality.

A key component to the digitally disruptive business is the removal of the need for showroom space, allowing DIY Blinds to pass on cost savings to customers. With a focus on delivering an exceptional customer experience at a fraction of the price, DIY Blinds curates a team of design consultants to replace the traditional role of the showroom assistant, helping customers create customised products, delivered within industry-leading timeframes in as little as seven days.

A visual approach to customer satisfaction

Since inception, founders Evan Montero and Liam Dobson have bootstrapped the business and used their grit to grow DIY Blinds into the capital-light yet financially compelling business it is today. Unlike larger brands, they haven’t had substantial marketing dollars to spend on advertising, instead relying on word-of-mouth to supercharge their growth. This has led to an intense focus on customer satisfaction that has funnelled word-of-mouth marketing and supercharged their growth thus far. “We focus on the ‘sausage’, not the ‘sizzle’. We believe customers are savvier in their home design purchase choices – they want access to custom-made, luxury designs, at affordable prices and with a seamless experience,” explains Evan. “For us, that means putting the customer experience at the forefront of everything we do.”

For top-quality customer experience in such a tactile industry, in situ product presentation is paramount. DIY Blinds has built relationships with influencers and design professionals who can demonstrate how quality Australian-made products can transform spaces. TV personalities Foreman Dan and partner Dani from The Block now develop high-end homes using DIY Blinds to deliver quality products and consistent service at a great price. DIY Blinds also works with full-service design and construction company GRAYA, delivering luxury residential projects throughout Brisbane, and has recently collaborated with Steph Claire Smith, notable Australian influencer and co-founder of Keep it Cleaner, supplying window furnishings for her family home. Adding functionality for light and heat control while elevating space with a contemporary style, DIY Blinds provides design-quality custom solutions for every project.

An experienced partner in scaling strategy

Capitalising on the momentum of its rapid early growth, DIY Blinds is preparing for its next phase. Recognising the challenges of fast-tracking the growth of their business on their own, Evan and Liam decided they needed an experienced investor to guide them through the process. “As a founder, you are sometimes constrained by capital,” says Liam. “However, you’re also strapped because you don’t have all the answers. So having an active investor to navigate the toughest of times meant we needed someone we could be fully transparent with and trust.”

Thinking bigger thanks to growth capital

ABGF’s investment will enable DIY Blinds to take a longer-term view and place bigger bets on the business. “When you’re only thinking short-term, you are shackled to what you can achieve more immediately and aren’t thinking about what’s best for the business,” says Liam. “Because ABGF is founder-friendly, we both agree that continued investment in our service offering will help us grow the value of the business down the road. With this long-term view, we have the freedom and ability to think through how to achieve sustainable growth for the future.”.

With the injection of capital, DIY Blinds plans to continue improving the online customer experience, expand business operations nationally, grow brand awareness, and fast-track new product offerings – such as the official launch of HomePro, a commercial division designed to service builders, architects and designers.

“With ABGFs investment, we can scale the business while protecting the brand and delighting customers”, says Evan.

An investment in equity

ABGF is proud to have a diverse team of experienced professionals who are driven to support the growth of ambitious businesses, with a 50:50 gender split across the entire ABGF team and at every level of the investment team. The DIY Blinds investment boasts an all-female deal team led by Co-Head of Investments Ghazaleh Lyari, supported by Investment Manager Lucinda Bradshaw and Investment Associate Lori Broner.

“I couldn’t be prouder of the people we have within ABGF’s team,” says Ghazaleh Lyari. “It was a pleasure to work on this investment with them. DIY Blinds is led with impressive vision and foresight by their founders, Evan and Liam, and I am delighted to take a seat on their board and support them through their future growth.”

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