interior of material bank warehouse

Material Bank Expands into Architectural Products

Formerly focused on interior finishes, the platform recently acquired Architizer in a bid to attract more architect users.

Five years ago, when a designer needed product samples, they might have begun the search in their firm’s material library or reached out to the local reps of multiple manufacturers. The process of obtaining samples for a presentation could easily take a week or more. Now, it’s as easy as logging into Material Bank and ordering a box of samples from multiple manufacturers that will arrive by 10:30 the next morning.

Launched in 2019, Material Bank is the world’s largest marketplace for those specifying or intending to purchase architectural, design, and construction materials. It boasts more than 100,000 users—including architects, interior designers, corporate end users, facility managers, real-estate developers, and procurement managers for major hotel chains and restaurants—and the offerings of more than 500 product manufacturers.

portrait of Adam Sandow
Adam I. Sandow launched Material Bank in 2019. The product sampling platform has grown rapidly, with recent acquisitions of Architizer and Clippings as well as a partnership with visualization platform Vizoo. COURTESY MATERIAL BANK

While Material Bank has catered primarily toward interior finishes in the past, recent moves show that the platform is expanding to attract more architect users and architectural product manufacturers. The acquisition of Architizer, announced in June, will give Material Bank access to the world’s largest database of architectural projects. Founded in 2009 by Alex Diehl, Matthias Hollwich, Marc Kushner, and Ben Prosky, Architizer is a global platform that boasts a community of more than 900,000 registered users, including 335,000 architects and 25,000 firms, as well as an expansive database of more than 3 million architectural images from 86,000 projects and products from 31,000 manufacturers.

Architizer will continue to operate independently as a subsidiary of Material Bank, led by its current CEO David Weber. Material Bank users will benefit from Architizer’s inspirational project images, aiding designers in the research and decision-making phases ahead of material and product selection.

a curated box of samples next to a computer screen

Material Bank’s growth has been meteoric since 2019, doubling or even tripling annually. “We helped a lot of companies get through the pandemic when the reps were locked at home and warehouses were shut down,” says Material Bank’s Founder and CEO, Adam I. Sandow. “We’re not just a sample fulfillment company—we connect designers with manufacturers and brands.” Each morning brands are sent leads generated from sample requests, and, according to Sandow, many Material Bank product companies report that up to 60 to 70 percent of their total lead volume comes through the service.

The Architizer acquisition comes a year after Material Bank acquired UK interior design procurement firm Clippings and joined into a partnership with Vizoo, a leading German digitization company. Sandow hints at additional acquisitions coming within the year, and says that by early next year users can expect the launch Material Bank 2.0, which will feature exciting new tools and an improved, streamlined user interface.

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