Deals in Brief – Raises $50M First Round –

SAN RAFAEL, Calif. – Sensing a ripe opportunity in the potentially $90 billion home design industry,’s financial backers have invested $50 million in the company’s first round of financing. was incubated earlier this year by The Learning Co., a division of Mattel Inc. In June, the company recruited Hearst New Media & Technology, Thomas H. Lee Co. and Weston Presidio Capital to finance its Series A round. While The Learning Co. placed senior level management and retained a double-digit stake in the company, financial control is now shared by Hearst and Thomas H. Lee. Chief Executive, and former Learning Co. division president, Douglas Mack said $20 million has been allocated for sales and marketing expenses, with the balance targeting customer services and additional hires in all departments. will leverage the Hearst media assets to promote its property to a predominantly female audience. The site is expected to launch in September.

Mack said the $50 million should support the company for the next 12 months. At this time, there are no plans for future private equity financing.