The Expert

Hundreds of thousands of users and 7 digits revenues in the first 4 months after launch.


world-top design talent


growth in 4 months


in total funding


design listings


San Francisco, US


Product discovery

UX/UI design

Product management




Product scaling

At Sudolabs, we’re proud to have The Expert as our top client and long-term partner. From the initial idea, we built their product and helped them achieve unprecedented success in their industry. Three years later, we continue to work on The Expert as their sole technical team. Let’s dive deep into the story.

The Expert was founded by LA-based celebrity designer Jake Arnold, who has designed homes for Chrissy Teigen and John Legend, Rashida Jones, Aaron Paul, Sophia Bush, and many others.

Jake Arnold and his high school friend, Leo Seigal a tech entrepreneur who has helped launch startups in Silicon Valley and beyond, came up with the idea of The Expert - a video consultation platform linking top interior designers with clients globally. A few years later, after rising popularity, The Expert launched an e-commerce platform.

"The Expert loves Sudolabs! Jozef and the team were there for us from the very beginning when we were just a concept, built out our entire site, and now we are entrusting them with scaling out the platform with no foreseeable plans to bring engineering “in-house”."
Leo Seigal
CEO, The Expert

Video consultations to the rescue

It all started when COVID-19 hit in 2020. Many businesses and industries, including interior design, had to rethink how they operate. As full-service design work was put to a halt, Arnold began receiving many direct messages on Instagram asking for design advice from people worldwide.

This was the moment when the idea sparked in the minds of Jake and Leo. They came up with the concept of creating a 1:1 video consultation service for a fee and they approached us at Sudolabs to build this platform from scratch.

Launch in a few months after the kick off

In February 2021, just a few months after the first call with Jake and Leo, we were able to launch The Expert platform, offering 25- and 55-minute-long consultations and advanced filtering options for users to find the ideal expert based on preferences like style, location, or name.

Booking of 1:1 online consultations with world-top interior designers was done seamlessly through the platform, which integrates with Zoom videoconferencing. We created an intuitive UI interface ensuring a streamlined booking process, providing a centralized hub for clients to discover and engage with top interior designers.

Being The Expert’s sole technical partner allowed them to focus more on discussions with investors, setting up the business model, and searching for new business verticals.

In search of
a new revenue stream

The Expert’s 1:1 online consultations have gained popularity and have been featured in high-profile magazines. The company earned $5 million in total revenue in its first year in business alone. With over 150 design studios and $15mil. funding, the team wondered how to scale and grow the product further.

Recognizing the significant spending potential of clients seeking consultations, Leo Seigal identified expanding into e-commerce as the logical next step for The Expert. This expansion aims to transform the platform into a comprehensive one-stop shop for home goods.

At Sudolabs, we formulated a hypothesis based on this opportunity.

People who wanted to consult on interior renovations are naturally interested in purchasing furniture. Additionally, customers will follow a famous interior designer's recommendation and buy the product.

Our product

Validate fast and with the least effort

To get started with the validation of the product hypothesis, we began with a post-consultation recap and sent out emails with lists of recommended furniture to gauge user interest. When a client placed orders, The Expert's procurement manually assisted in the purchase and ordered the products.

We were blown away by the results! In just two weeks with barely any development effort, we achieved a staggering sales volume. This successful validation led to the expansion of The Expert's platform with a new revenue stream - e-commerce.

Validate fast and with the least effort

We launched an e-commerce platform called “Showroom” in January 2023, and it was just the beginning. The pipeline has been slowly filled with other functionalities since then.

Product design is a continuous process of understanding user and business needs and finding ways to solve them. To make informed decisions based on user and data insights, we have started incorporating A/B testing and continuous discovery.

If you are curious about specifics and key lessons learned, read our recent blog post about How we rapidly validated an e-commerce MVP. It provides valuable details and valuable insights into our process.

Our technology

The Expert is a complex product, that is still evolving. In addition, in the first weeks after the launch, the product enjoyed unprecedented interest. Hundreds of thousands of users around the globe started consulting their home designs with the experts and The Expert reaches 7-digit revenue in the first 4 months. This brings many technical challenges.

Early stage of the product

In the early stages of the project, our primary emphasis was on swift development. We integrated Zoom for video calls, Stripe for secure payments, and BunnyCDN for the efficient delivery of static content.

To ensure effective communication between the backend and frontend architectures, we utilized a universally compatible GraphQL API. Additionally, we employed the reliable and high-performing Postgres database for long-term storage, while the development-friendly Next.js application merged industry-standard practices with exceptional performance.

Showroom please

The inclusion of the showroom e-commerce feature necessitated further integration with external services for product listings, and we incorporated multiple shipping providers. Additionally, we implemented services for address suggestions, tax calculations, and more, expanding the platform's functionality. We replaced the old cron system with an MQ system, enabling more flexible job scheduling. Despite an increase in user count, our platform adeptly handled the surge, seamlessly scaling up automatically without posing significant challenges.

Release of the Showroom

The release of the Showroom feature marked a significant milestone in our project's technical planning. It symbolized a transition from the agile startup mindset to a more stable and data-driven approach, prioritizing quality, performance, and scalability over sheer development speed.

We adopted the V-model approach in our development cycle, enabling us to maximize our development time by focusing solely on impactful tasks that yield measurable results and identify issues early on. This achievement solidified Sudolabs' ability to handle not only startup ventures but also long-term and stable projects with confidence.

Designer-curated furniture right at your fingertips

The Expert has expanded its offerings of 1:1 online consultations with the launch of The Expert Showroom, a curated multi-brand e-commerce experience. The showroom showcases collections from highly sought-after designers such as Arnold, Brigette Romanek, Mark D. Sikes, Heidi Caillier, and Jenna Lyons.

With over 4 000+ unique pieces from over 70 luxury brands, the showroom boasts a diverse range of furniture and textiles. It features rare vintage pieces, designer reissues, and made-to-order items, with each creative imprinting its unique touches. All that you can order from the comfort of your home.

Ours and client’s success

At Sudolabs, we’re dedicated to delivering the best possible results for our clients, and our partnership with The Expert is a shining example of that. Being their sole technical partner allows The Expert team to focus their time and energy on core business functions, strategic decision-making, a search for new revenue streams, and discussion with investors.

With our Sudolabs team scaling up as the project grows, we take on the responsibility of managing people and output. Our focus on transparency, open communication, and full process visibility ensures they maintain sufficient control over processes while benefiting from our expertise. As a result, they get worry-free product development experience so they can focus on what really matters.


revenue in first 4 months


growth in 4 months

In April 2021, The Expert raised a $3 million seed funding round led by Forerunner Ventures, with participation from Sweet Capital, Promus Ventures, Golden Ventures, Jeffrey Katzenberg’s WndrCo, AD 100 designer Brigette Romanek and CEO/founder of goop, Gwyneth Paltrow. Later, in 2022, The Expert raised another $12 million to target e-commerce.

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In April 2021, The Expert raised a $3 million seed funding round led by Forerunner Ventures, with participation from Sweet Capital, Promus Ventures, Golden Ventures, Jeffrey Katzenberg’s WndrCo, AD 100 designer Brigette Romanek and CEO/founder of goop, Gwyneth Paltrow. Later, in 2022, The Expert raised another $12 million to target e-commerce.