Cuura Space’s Benny Lim on Cuura-ting Spaces for Shared Connections

Cuura Space's Benny Lim on Cuura-ting Spaces for Shared Connections

With a mission to create dream homes by utilising technology and data and delivering outstanding customer experience, Cuura Space is an industry disruptor that has changed furniture retailing in Malaysia with its online-only, direct-to-customer retail concept.

Cuura Space recently showcased a collaboration with Malaysian artist Kar Wai Chan, whereby an entire bedroom set was suspended on a wall adorned with paintings and doodles by the artist.

The company’s founder and CEO, Benny Lim, sat down with Ong Chin Huat to discuss the challenges of starting Cuura Space from scratch and their plans for expansion.

Benny talking to customers next to the art installation

Luxurious Magazine: Could you tell us about Cuura Space and how it came about?
Benny Lim: CUURA Space is a culmination of my passion for entrepreneurship and my drive to innovate in the e-commerce space, particularly within the furniture industry.

The idea for CUURA Space emerged as a response to the challenges borne by the COVID-19 pandemic. With restrictions on physical shopping and a growing demand for online alternatives, I saw an opportunity to revolutionise the way people shop for furniture.

Drawing from my experience in e-commerce, particularly through my previous venture, Aureas Media Sdn Bhd, I recognised the potential to create a dynamic online platform that not only offered quality furniture but also prioritised affordability, customer satisfaction, and sustainability. CUURA Space was founded as a brand under Aureas Media Sdn Bhd, leveraging the resources and expertise accumulated over years of successful operation in the digital marketplace.

With CUURA Space, our goal was to reimagine the traditional furniture shopping experience by providing customers with a seamless and intuitive online platform where they could browse, customise, and purchase high-quality furniture from the comfort of their homes. We aimed to combine cutting-edge technology with exceptional customer service to create an unparalleled shopping experience.

From the outset, we were committed to building a brand that not only met the immediate needs of our customers but also addressed larger societal concerns, such as sustainability.

Overall, CUURA Space represents a convergence of my entrepreneurial vision, industry expertise, and dedication to meeting the evolving needs of consumers in a rapidly changing world. We are proud to have built a brand that is synonymous with innovation, quality, and customer satisfaction, and we remain committed to pushing the boundaries of online furniture retail in the years to come.

LM: You were previously a broker; what made you leave the financial world and become an entrepreneur?
Benny: Transitioning from the financial world to entrepreneurship was a pivotal decision for me, one that was driven by a combination of factors. Working in the financial sector provided valuable experience and insights, and I realised that my true passion lay in exploring new avenues and creating something of my own.

The furniture company's founder, sat smiling on one of his products

The decision to leave the banking industry stemmed from a desire for greater autonomy and the opportunity to chart my own path. As the environment became increasingly competitive, I recognised that I needed to pivot towards a field where I could leverage my skills and interests more effectively.

After months of reading every single article I could find on the internet about ‘how to make money online?’ I discovered the potential of affiliate marketing during an eye-opening conference in Las Vegas called Affiliate Summit West.

The allure of entrepreneurship, coupled with the limitless possibilities offered by the digital landscape, fueled my decision to embark on this new journey. I was drawn to the dynamic nature of online business and the opportunity to build something from the ground up. Moreover, the flexibility and potential for growth in the digital sphere resonated with my aspirations for personal and professional fulfilment.

Ultimately, leaving the financial world behind was a calculated risk, driven by a deep-seated desire for innovation and a commitment to pursuing avenues that aligned more closely with my passions and aspirations. While the transition was not without its challenges, it ultimately led me to where I am today, at the helm of CUURA Space, leading a team dedicated to redefining the online furniture industry.

LM: What led you to choose the furniture business among all the possible ventures?
Benny: I was influenced by a combination of factors, including market opportunity, personal interest, and a strategic assessment of consumer needs. While exploring various potential ventures, I conducted thorough market research and identified the furniture industry as one with significant growth potential, particularly in the online space.

Moreover, my background in e-commerce and digital marketing, coupled with my experience in creating successful online ventures, positioned me well to capitalise on the evolving trends in the furniture market. I recognised a growing demand for high-quality, affordable furniture solutions, coupled with a desire for a seamless online shopping experience.

Furthermore, my personal interest in interior design and home decor played a role in the decision-making process. I saw an opportunity to merge my passion for aesthetics with my entrepreneurial endeavours, creating a business that fulfilled consumer needs and resonated with my interests and values.

Ultimately, choosing the furniture business was a strategic decision informed by market analysis, personal passion, and a vision for creating a brand that would redefine the online furniture shopping experience. With CUURA Space, we have been able to leverage these factors to build a successful and innovative brand that continues to resonate with consumers.

LM: Could you tell us more about Cuura Space’s business model of online-only, direct-to-consumer and its marketing strategies?
Benny: CUURA Space operates on a business model that revolutionises traditional furniture retail by embracing online-only, direct-to-consumer principles.

We recognised the limitations of the traditional furniture retail model, characterised by large physical stores, extensive SKU displays, and low inventory turnover. To counter this, we adopted an online-only approach, freeing ourselves from the burden of maintaining costly retail spaces and excessive inventory. It allows us to offer a wider selection of high-quality, designer-looking furniture at competitive prices.

Leveraging my experience in global e-commerce, we approached the industry with a fresh perspective and innovation. By forging strategic partnerships with manufacturing partners in China and Malaysia, we curated a diverse range of thousands of SKUs, ensuring that our customers have access to an extensive selection of designs at affordable prices.

We meticulously analysed consumer behaviour and identified timeless desires that transcend trends. Consumers consistently seek more options at lower prices and demand fast delivery. By aligning our offerings with these enduring preferences, we ensure that our business remains relevant and competitive for the long term.

Our main customer acquisition channel is social media, where we engage with our audience through aesthetically pleasing content tailored to each platform’s unique audience. By leveraging data from social media platforms and customer purchase history, we accurately predict demand and optimise inventory to minimise lead times and enhance customer satisfaction.

We understand that trust in the brand is paramount for online furniture shoppers. To address this, we offer a 30-day money-back guarantee with no questions asked, providing customers with peace of mind and confidence in their purchase decisions.

Our marketing strategy revolves around creating engaging and informative content tailored to different social media platforms. From showcasing product aesthetics on Facebook and Instagram to delivering entertaining yet informative content on TikTok, we leverage each platform’s unique characteristics to connect with our audience effectively. Additionally, we publish insightful blogs on our website, offering styling tips, listicles, and detailed information about materials to educate and inspire our customers.

Overall, CUURA Space’s business model of online-only, direct-to-consumer retail coupled with data-driven marketing strategies positions us as a leader in the evolving landscape of online furniture retail. We remain committed to delivering exceptional value, selection, and customer experience as we continue to innovate and grow in the years to come.

The artist standing in front of his installation

LM: Cuura Space recently collaborated with local Malaysian artist Kar Wai Chan. Do you plan to collaborate with other artists in the future?
Benny: Our collaboration with local Malaysian artist Kar Wai Chan was a fantastic opportunity to showcase our furniture in a unique and engaging setting outside of the traditional buying and selling context. It allowed us to present our brand and products from a fresh perspective, reaching a wider audience and creating a memorable experience for both existing and potential customers.

The collaboration was driven by our desire to introduce our furniture to new audiences and to provide first-time buyers with the opportunity to experience our products in a real-world setting, such as a cafe environment. We believe that experiencing our furniture in such contexts enhances the overall customer journey and fosters a deeper connection with our brand.

As for future collaborations with other artists, we are certainly open to the possibility. Collaborations with artists not only allow us to showcase our products in innovative ways but also provide a platform for creative expression and cultural exchange. We are constantly exploring ways to collaborate with talented individuals who share our passion for design, creativity, and innovation.

While we don’t have any specific collaborations lined up at the moment, we are always on the lookout for exciting partnerships that align with our brand values and enhance the overall customer experience.

LM: Do you have plans to expand outside of Malaysia? If so, could you tell us which markets?
Benny: Yes, expanding outside of Malaysia is definitely on our radar as part of our long-term growth strategy. While our immediate focus is on strengthening our presence in major Malaysian cities such as Johor Bahru, Penang, and Kuching, we recognise the potential for international expansion in the future.

The Thierry chair nest to a side table which is being held by a wooden figureShould we decide to expand abroad, our first target market will be Singapore. There are several reasons for this decision. Firstly, Singapore offers significant spending power and a thriving consumer market, making it an attractive destination for retailers. Additionally, the proximity and land-based border we share with Singapore facilitate logistical operations and market entry.

Expanding into Singapore aligns with our commitment to strategic growth and maximising opportunities in neighbouring markets. However, it’s important to note that any expansion plans will be approached thoughtfully and methodically, ensuring that we maintain the integrity of our brand and deliver exceptional value to our customers, both locally and internationally.

LM: How would you describe Malaysia’s furniture market presently compared to other more mature markets?
Benny: The furniture market in Malaysia currently presents a unique landscape with both opportunities and areas for improvement when compared to more mature markets. While Malaysia boasts abundant natural resources, particularly tropical timber, which is conducive to producing high-quality furniture, local manufacturers have historically focused on catering to the export market rather than fulfilling domestic demand.

However, with the burgeoning growth of furniture e-commerce in Malaysia, a promising shift is occurring. The increasing accessibility of online platforms allows local retailers to reach a broader audience domestically. This presents a significant opportunity to accelerate the growth of the local furniture industry by tapping into the growing appetite for high-quality, aesthetically pleasing furniture within Malaysia itself.

In essence, while Malaysia’s furniture market may currently be evolving in comparison to more mature markets, the convergence of natural resources and the burgeoning e-commerce landscape holds immense potential for catalysing further growth and innovation within the local industry. As retailers and manufacturers increasingly capitalise on these opportunities, Malaysia’s furniture market is poised to make significant strides towards meeting the growing domestic demand.

LM: What are the top three best-selling furniture items from Cuura Space, and what makes them so popular?
Benny: Malaysian audiences are keeping up with trends on Pinterest, XHS and various social media platforms. Because of what they see, they are emboldened to try light cream colours and have steered away from just going for browns and greys. From what we have observed, this is no passing phase because the use of light neutrals open up the space transforming the home into a cosy haven.

The Duncan SofaWith the addition of performance fabrics, our customers are assured that buying a Duncan (shown), Thierry, or Abater will not only look good but also be easy to maintain.

Malaysians generally love rounded, curvy shapes, so the Duncan sofa is one of their favourites. They can lounge, sit, and sleep on it, and the entire sofa is engineered for ultimate comfort.

As the trend steers away from the 3+2+1 configuration, the sofa plus accent chair concept is becoming an accepted configuration for the living room. Thierry accent chair is one of our bestsellers because of its craftsmanship and comfort.

For the bedroom, many customers are avoiding the use of PU material and opting for bouclé, linen, or microfibre leather.

Abater, our bestselling bed frame, combines curvy, solid rubber wood legs and bouclé material to create a truly cosy experience when one unwinds. With this bestseller, the bedroom is not just a place to sleep but has the ambience of a getaway sanctuary that one can recharge and re-energise with.

LM: What advice do you have for fellow entrepreneurs who wish to follow in your footsteps?
Benny: My advice for fellow entrepreneurs who aspire to follow a similar path is grounded in three key principles:

  • Passion and Persistence: Pursue ventures that ignite your passion and align with your values. Entrepreneurship is a journey filled with challenges and setbacks, but maintaining a steadfast commitment to your vision will drive you forward, even in the face of adversity. Stay resilient, persevere through obstacles, and remain dedicated to realising your goals.
  • Embrace Innovation and Adaptability: In today’s rapidly evolving business landscape, innovation and adaptability are essential. Be open to new ideas, technologies, and approaches that can differentiate your business and drive growth. Continuously seek ways to innovate and stay ahead of the curve while remaining flexible and adaptable to changing market dynamics.
  • Prioritise Customer Experience: Place a strong emphasis on delivering exceptional value and experience to your customers. Listen to their feedback, anticipate their needs, and strive to exceed their expectations at every touchpoint. Building trust and loyalty with your customers is fundamental to long-term success, so prioritise building genuine connections and delivering tangible value.

Ultimately, entrepreneurship is a journey of self-discovery and growth. Stay true to your vision, embrace challenges as opportunities for growth, and never lose sight of the impact you aim to make in the world. You can turn your entrepreneurial aspirations into reality with dedication, resilience, and a commitment to excellence.

LM: What was the most challenging part of starting a new business like Cuura Space?
Benny: The most challenging part of starting a new business like CUURA Space was navigating the complexities of the competitive furniture industry while simultaneously establishing our brand in the online marketplace.

Introducing a new brand in a crowded marketplace required significant effort to build awareness and differentiate ourselves from established competitors. We had to craft a compelling brand identity and communicate our value proposition effectively to capture the attention of potential customers.

Managing the logistics of sourcing high-quality furniture, coordinating with manufacturing partners, and implementing efficient delivery processes presented logistical challenges. Ensuring timely delivery and product quality while optimising costs required meticulous planning and execution.

Creating an engaging and user-friendly online platform that effectively showcased our products and facilitated seamless transactions was essential. We invested significant resources in website development, digital marketing, and customer experience optimisation to attract and retain customers in the highly competitive e-commerce landscape.

Balancing rapid growth with operational scalability presented its own set of challenges. Scaling our operations to meet increasing demand while maintaining product quality, customer satisfaction, and financial sustainability required strategic planning and resource allocation.

Despite these challenges, we remained steadfast in delivering exceptional value and customer experience. Through perseverance, innovation, and strategic decision-making, we overcame obstacles and successfully established CUURA Space as a trusted brand in the online furniture industry.

For further information on Cuura Space furniture, please visit

The Abater bedCuura Space's Benny Lim on Cuura-ting Spaces for Shared Connections 2

Ong Chin Huat

Luxurious Magazine Reporter

Having been the social editor of the Hong Kong edition of Tatler and as well as writing a twice-weekly column in Hong Kong’s leading English-language newspaper, the South China Morning Post, Chin has met and interviewed a variety of people including business tycoons, supermodels, movie stars, royalty and world-class athletes. He also considers himself privileged to have attended some of the most talked about events and parties around the world. Chin counts art, fashion, food, interior design, literature, painting and travel among his passions.

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