Could Ikea’s investment in Indian one-stop interior design platform Livspace lead to an acquisition?

Fresh from raising $70 million last year via big names including Goldman Sachs and TPG Growth, Livspace, an India-based startup that offers a one-stop-shop for interior design, has lured yet another marquee investor: Ikea.

Techcrunch reported that the Indian startup has taken an undisclosed investment from Ingka Investments, the VC arm of Ikea parent Ingka Group, which operates 90 percent of Ikea’s retail footprint. Livspace CEO and co-founder Anuj Srivastava told TechCrunch that “There is strong strategic and commercial potential, this is an opportunity to create the best possible omnichannel experience for consumers.”

India is a tough place for international retail companies but Ikea has made progress in recent times.

The company opened its first India-based store in Hyderabad last year and, having gained FDI approval to operate retails store, it is planning a substantial expansion with at least 25 new stores in the offing.

Livspace positions itself as a one-stop interior design platform, connecting homeowners with designers and the supply chain to go through ideas, chose a plan and implement it. That includes, among other things, 3D virtual renders of a renovation, offline meetings at a Livspace design center and, in some cases, customized furnishings. By bringing all parties together, Livspace claims to offer cost savings to consumers as well as higher rates and more efficient use of time for designers.

As for whether this deal might be a precursor to an eventual acquisition, from Ikea’s side, it’s very much a possibility. The company previously acquired TaskRabbit in 2017 and it bought a 49 percent stake in U.S-based kitchen service company Traemand with a view to a full acquisition last December. Its investment deals have included taking part in a $31 million Series B for France-based Aledia LED and participation in a $12.4 million round for online food retailer Matsmart.