Internet home improvement, struggling to catch up with the “last train” of the Metaverse

Even though “selling rabbits” improves the brand’s image, it still treats the symptoms rather than the root causes.

Internet home improvement, struggling to catch up with the "last train" of the Metaverse

Internet home improvement has stepped into the Metaverse, what new story do you want to tell?

On September 22, Tubatu released its own Metaverse digital collection “Little Rabbit”. It is reported that “Little Rabbit” is limited to 1,000 copies, and each collection has a unique digital code on the blockchain. Rabbit official website, you can buy and collect.

Tubatu is not the only one who tells the “story” of the Metaverse. Some time ago, at the China International Service Trade Fair, China (Nankang) “Home Furnishing Metaverse” was officially unveiled as the first platform in China, and launched its own Metaverse outfit brand— “Fantasy”. With the concept of “virtual home + real home + future home” – the concept of Metaverse decoration products of Yisheng Miyake, Huanjia will provide users with Metaverse decoration solutions.

Affected by the epidemic and the downturn in the real estate market, home improvement and home furnishing companies have had a hard time in the past two years, especially in the Internet home improvement industry .

Nowadays, chasing the last train of the already cool Metaverse with hindsight seems to be desperate.

Why does Tubatu “sell rabbits”?

Why Tubatu always fails to go public is inseparable from its poor business performance.

According to the prospectus, the revenue of Tubatu from 2019 to 2021 will be 680 million yuan, 615 million yuan, and 655 million yuan, respectively, with a year-on-year growth rate of 16.60%, -9.54%, and 6.39%, and a year-on-year increase of 54.56% in 2017. Compared with 881 million yuan, the growth rate in the past three years can be said to be quite slow. Looking at profit, from 2018 to 2021, the company’s net profit was 39 million yuan, 80 million yuan, 87 million yuan, and 70 million yuan, respectively, and the net profit rate was 6.69%, 11.71%, 14.07%, and 10.74%.

Tubatu, which makes money from traffic and does not intervene in the home improvement process, has the same high gross profit margin as Kweichow Moutai, with a gross profit margin of over 90%. However, the company’s net profit margin is only maintained at about 10%. Such profitability has to make Capital markets are worried.

Tubatu was once the “darling” of capital. In 2015, the first year of Internet home improvement, Tubatu received a $200 million Series C financing jointly invested by Sequoia, Jingwei, and 58 Tongcheng, with a valuation of over $1 billion. It has set a record for a single financing in the field of Internet home improvement. But in this year, the company spent a lot of money and crazy marketing, paving the way for today’s high marketing expenses and misappropriation of profit space.

Internet home improvement, struggling to catch up with the "last train" of the Metaverse

And after this financing, Tubatu has never received new investment, and can only hope to go public again and again. However, repeated failures put Tubatu in an even more embarrassing situation.

On the one hand, in order to achieve the goal of IPO, Tubatu has undergone several equity structure adjustments. Sequoia, Jingwei and other investment institutions took the opportunity to sign a gambling agreement with the founder Wang Guobin. If Tubatu fails to succeed. Listing, triggers repurchase obligations among shareholders.

On the other hand, Tubatu “painted cakes” for cooperative merchants on the grounds of listing. After the listing failed, the problem of tight capital chain became more and more serious.

According to media reports, a decoration company that is still in the contract period said that before the listing of Tubatu, it had reached an agreement with some decoration companies to charge a large amount of advertising fees to the decoration companies in advance, and promised to endorse them as a listed company after listing. And shape it as a head decoration company on the platform. After the failure of the listing, the promise came to nothing, but when the decoration company asked to return the money, Tubatu could not fulfill it in time.

The listing is a life-saving straw for Tubatu, but it also seems to be an endless cycle of “nightmare”, dragging it and consuming it, so that it has no time to take into account the improvement of the business model and the service experience on the user and merchant sides. , resulting in greater losses.

Internet home improvement, struggling to catch up with the "last train" of the Metaverse

As early as 2019, data from iiMedia Research showed that in August, the monthly active users of Tubatu APP was 335,400, and Qijia.com ranked second with 261,200; by 2021, according to Fastdata’s March 2021 China According to the ranking list of monthly active users of the Internet home improvement platform , Qijia.com ranked first with 4.60 million, followed by Haohaozhu and Kujiale, and Tubatu dropped to the fourth place . It is worth mentioning that even the first-ranked Qijia.com has evaporated over 90% of its market value in the four years since its listing, which shows the difficulty of the entire industry.

Internet home improvement, struggling to catch up with the "last train" of the Metaverse

And if you ask Tubatu’s current largest asset value, perhaps only the IP image is really left. Obviously, the logic behind Tubatu’s “selling rabbits” is: although this will not bring Tubatu a huge revenue, the marketing topics behind this strategy can increase its brand value. To maximize the release, and to reverse the current precarious brand image of Tubatu.

Whether Tubatu can achieve what it wants requires further market verification. At present, even if Tubatu has improved the brand’s image through this strategy, the result may still be a cure for the symptoms rather than the root cause. It is only a drop in the bucket for Tubatu to solve the problems it faces, because the problem behind the brand is Tubatu. More to be resolved.

The Metaverse Can’t Be the New Story of Home Improvement

Even if he wants to enter the Metaverse, Tubatu doesn’t seem to have a good time. In the second half of this year, the digital collections that were in full swing suddenly turned cold. First, the digital collections on the platform became unsalable and the prices dropped sharply, followed by the departure of large-scale players. In particular, Tencent’s digital collection platform “Magic Core” announced that it will stop the distribution of digital collections from August 16, causing an uproar inside and outside the industry, and pessimism spread.

Of course, Tubatu’s release of digital collections may also be just to pave the way for its entry into the Metaverse. Compared with digital collections that have become colder, the concept of Metaverse seems to provide new imagination for home improvement and home furnishing.

For example, Metaverse can present the user’s residence or scene in the virtual world, and put the experience of smart home in a realistic virtual world, allowing users to experience the convenience of smart home in advance, and users can make personal customization in the virtual scene , which is consistent with the development trend of personalized customization in the home improvement and home furnishing industry.

In the Metaverse outlet, virtual currency, virtual people, virtual real estate… have all attracted the enthusiasm of capital. At first glance, virtual home seems to be a gimmick of hype, but it may only be possible to profit from it. Internet home improvement such as Tubatu The platform, not the renovation company or the owner. Because storytelling can not only solve the fundamental problems existing in the decoration industry, but also difficult to alleviate the market downturn brought about by changes in the general environment.

According to the “2022 China Home Decoration Service Market Research Report” released by Sloth Life, the total scale of domestic home decoration services in 2021 will be about 2.99 trillion yuan, a decrease of about 3.23% from 3.09 trillion yuan in 2020. The impact of factors such as the decline in commercial housing sales.

Internet home improvement, struggling to catch up with the "last train" of the Metaverse

Real estate shrinks, and the demand for decoration naturally declines. Taking fine decoration as an example, according to the monitoring data of Aowei Cloud (AVC), in 2021, there will be 3,489 newly launched projects in China’s real estate fine decoration market, a year-on-year decrease of 6.8%, and the market size is 2.861 million units, a year-on-year decrease of 12.1%. In this context, many decoration companies may not only face a decline in business, but also sit back and relax, especially for small home improvement companies with low qualifications, where the pressure to survive increases sharply.

According to incomplete statistics, before 2020, there were 140,000 large and small decoration enterprises in the country, and now it has been reduced to 100,000.

The market for the decoration market is shrinking, and the risks borne by the owners will also increase. Because more and more decoration companies are closing down and running away, decoration “unfinished” often occurs. The inaction of the platform has completely exposed the biggest drawback of Internet home decoration, that is, it cannot penetrate into the decoration link, improve the level of decoration services, and change the traditional decoration mode.

It can be seen from the black cat complaint that many users “stepped on the pit” when accepting the decoration company recommended by Tubatu. One user said, “The decoration company closed down, the construction period was delayed for a year, and Tubatu ignored it”, while another user said, “The personnel of Tubatu company did not play a supervisory role and helped the decoration company to fool consumers together. It is required to sign a contract only in one copy, and no photos can be taken, and the project manager of the decoration company destroys the construction site.”

In a forum at the end of 2020, Wang Guobin once announced that Tubatu has gone through the first stage with the “information platform” as the core positioning and the second stage focusing on the “trading platform”, and has now entered the empowerment stage. The third stage of the platform. But whether this third stage can be transformed from traffic-based to service-based is still a question.

The “destiny” of the information service platform

In 2015, when Tubatu raised funds, it entered a special shareholder, 58.com. While the outside world is attracted by the amount of this financing, many people see the potential of cooperation between 58.com and Tubatu, because one of the largest business segments of 58.com is housing sales and leasing information, and the next step after buying a house Naturally, it is decoration, which just forms a connection with Tubatu’s business.

It is a pity that today, like 58.com, Tubatu has not changed the pain points of traditional industries, but has become a gathering place for industry chaos, which seems to be the “common problem” of Internet information service platforms.

In Baidu, search with the keyword “58 same city liar”, and get 9,850,000 related results; in Black Cat Complaint, search for “58 same city”, a total of 15,065 results; in the same way, search Lily.com, Baidu has a total of 1,370,000 results, There are a total of 2,266 complaints from black cats. Taking Ganji as an example, Baidu has 2,340,000 complaints and 381 complaints from black cats.

Renting and buying a house, recruitment, marriage, decoration… Although the Internet has formed a new business model around these rigid needs, and moved links such as traffic and transactions to the Internet, no matter which field does not seem to bring transformative value, the Internet model only Part of the process of the consumption chain is transferred to the online, and the core links in essence still depend on the offline, which also determines that the problems existing in the offline scene cannot be solved.

Taking information asymmetry as an example, whether it is recruitment, renting, marriage, decoration, the biggest problem in this type of market is information asymmetry, and the Internet information service platform connects consumers and service providers at the same time, which helps to break the information gap. . Therefore, the outside world originally thought that online platforms could help achieve information transparency, but the results backfired: 58.com is full of fake housing, and Lily.com, Jiayuan, etc. have become paradises for “killing pigs”…

The same is true for Tubatu, where various disputes such as poor decoration quality and running away of decoration companies occur frequently.

Only doing traffic business determines the inherent thinking of the Internet information service platform that traffic is king. In order to attract as many merchants as possible and obtain traffic, the platform often sets a very low threshold, and even the so-called review process is actually just a formality. Like Tubatu, almost as long as you have a business license and office location, you can successfully pass the audit, and the platform may not further verify whether the settled business has decoration qualifications and the company’s business regulations.

Merchants with uneven qualifications and service levels flood the platform, and the risks borne by consumers are greatly increased. Moreover, once false information spreads, the so-called information transparency is actually worthless. False information is easier to “harvest” than information asymmetry. “consumer.

In recent years, vicious incidents such as the Li Wenxing incident, the Zhai Xinxin incident, and the blood slave incident have occurred frequently, and the storm of public opinion has gradually swept the Internet information service platform. This is not a dangerous signal. On the one hand, it may bring greater policy risks. On the other hand, if there are new models that can bring more standardized information services in the future, platforms such as 58.com and Lily.com are likely to be the first to be eliminated among the Internet veterans. batch.

For Tubatu, listing or the Metaverse is not its life-saving straw.

Posted by:CoinYuppie,Reprinted with attribution to:https://coinyuppie.com/internet-home-improvement-struggling-to-catch-up-with-the-last-train-of-the-metaverse/
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