Our start-up of the week is Seen on Set, a unique online platform to find and buy furniture, lighting, décor and tech seen in movies and TV shows.
“We are primarily targeting the home furnishings and interiors consumer,” explained Cian O’Driscoll, CEO and co-founder of Seen on Set.
“The global home furnishings industry is worth over $700bn, and is similar in size to the fashion industry.
‘Product placement in movies and TV shows is increasing year-on-year as film and television studios desperately try to reduce production costs’
– CIAN O’DRISCOLL, SEEN ON SET
“However, comparative to the fashion online retail market the home furnishings online retail market is considered in its infancy. This is due to early stage e-commerce reluctance by retailers to adopt the online retail market, combined with the costumer’s preference to shop in-store.
“This has been rapidly changing in the last five years. The online home furnishings market is now one of the world’s fastest growing e-commerce areas and, in Europe, it is the fastest growing e-commerce.”
O’Driscoll explained that, in the United States, the online home furnishings sales market reached $11bn by 2015 and is forecasted to rise at an average annual rate of 9.9pc (IBIS World).
The European online home furnishings sales market reached €30bn in 2015, and is forecast to rise at an average annual rate of 12.8pc (IBIS World).
Forbes and Sageworks list household goods (furniture accounts for 65pc of this) at number nine in their top ten Fastest Growing Industries in 2015 based on sales growth. Europe and the United States are the primary target markets.
“In addition to this, we also have one foot in the world of filmed entertainment. This gives us access to another revenue stream through advertising, as well as connecting furniture suppliers with film and television production design professionals.
“Product placement in movies and TV shows is increasing year-on-year as film and television studios desperately try to reduce production costs. The traditional product placements of clothes, cars, tech and beverages is broadening, and we feel we are very much on the pulse of this change.”
O’Driscoll has a background in architecture and commercial and residential interiors.
“Peadar Doyle, my co-founder and CTO, has a background in software development,” O’Driscoll explained.
“The ultimate goal is to become the definitive resource for products seen on set.”
“As the only one-stop-shop for on-screen interiors, we provide a platform where the user can search for and buy furniture, lighting, décor, homeware and tech seen in a movie or TV show.
“With a unique database of products, Seen on Set connects the user with the product they see on set and want to buy.
“Think imdb.com meets Houzz.com. You can search by movie or TV show title, or by furniture type. We have affiliate vendors with some of the biggest furniture and lighting brands in the world. We then take a commission on sales. This e-commerce is combined with high quality content, like monthly articles on on-screen interiors and furniture.
Lights, camera, action!
Since coming out of the NDRC LaunchPad accelerator programme – where Seen on Set won the ‘People’s Choice Award’ at LiftOff – the company has worked to get its product and brand out there.
“We were recently awarded the Enterprise Ireland Competitive Start Fund (CSF) and we are currently on Google’s Adopt a Startup programme, and we are looking to take on investment.”
‘This is a seven-day-a-week vocation. So commit, and tell your friends you’ll see them at Christmas. Time is the enemy of a start-up’
– CIAN O’DRISCOLL, SEEN ON SET
O’Driscoll says the biggest challenge is getting the consumer-facing brand into the public spotlight, which is difficult with little or no budget at the start.
He said that he is increasingly aware of more and more people starting up businesses. “You don’t realise how big it is and how many people in this country take the scary plunge into starting their own business. It is actually quite comforting and encouraging.
“Starting your own business can be a very lonely place, particularly in those first six to 12 months, so hearing about and meeting so many other people who are in the same boat definitely helps.”
His advice to other entrepreneurs is to work fast and hard.
“This is a seven-day-a-week vocation. So commit, and tell your friends you’ll see them at Christmas. Time is the enemy of a start-up.”