- As a way to accelerate emerging technologies, The Home Depot has launched Home Depot Ventures, a venture capital fund to support early-stage companies that enhance customer experience and home improvement, the retailer announced on Tuesday.
- The $150 million fund will consider investment opportunities in businesses at various stages of development, but will focus on early and growth-stage companies that help Home Depot customers and show potential to scale.
- The home improvement chain has invested in Afero, a platform that provides smart capabilities for products; Made Renovation, a digital platform for bathroom renovations; Loadsmart, a freight technology company; and Roadie, a delivery platform that facilitates same-day deliveries in more than 20,000 ZIP codes nationally.
With its venture capital fund, Home Depot wants to invest in companies that cater to both professional and homeowner customers, assist its associates and optimize operations in ways ranging from deliveries to the use of data science.
“With Home Depot Ventures, we’re lending our support and expertise to enable rapid scale of innovation,” Richard McPhail, Home Depot's chief financial officer, said in a statement. “This is an exciting opportunity to find and scale the next big ideas in technology and retail.”
The retailer has been focusing on its digital strategy, from its leadership to its content for customers. In March, the company unveiled a virtual workshop series with business advice for professional contractors. The following month, it appointed Matt Carey as executive vice president of customer experience and Fahim Siddiqui as CIO. Carey oversees the development of new strategies to improve Home Depot's customer experience in stores and across its digital channels. Siddiqui, meanwhile, manages the company's digital strategy, infrastructure and software development for all of its storefronts, supply chain facilities, store support centers and online systems.
Though the pandemic drove the home improvement retail boom in 2020, the demand has shifted. Still, Home Depot and Lowe’s continued to enjoy sales gains overall in 2021, but Home Depot appears to be the preferred choice of the Pro segment.