PRESIDENT: You think, you think we want to, want to go this route now? And the—let it hang out, so to speak?

DEAN: Well, it’s, it isn’t really that—

HALDEMAN: It’s a limited hang out.

DEAN: It’s a limited hang out.

EHRLICHMAN: It’s a modified limited hang out.

PRESIDENT: Well, it’s only the questions of the thing hanging out publicly or privately.

The Hot New Online Matchmaking Trend Is In Home Renovation

Lowe’s led a nearly $30 million funding round in, which connects homeowners seeking to do renovation projects with verified, licensed professionals. Porch competes in the nascent but growing field of home renovation matchmaking. / Via

The hot new trend in online matchmaking involves hooking up of a different kind — connecting people looking to do home renovation projects with licensed, verified contractors, painters, and other industry professionals.

Seattle-based marked its one-year anniversary today by announcing that home improvement retail giant Lowe’s led a $27.6 million first funding round that closed earlier this year. Porch, which collects and organizes data on the entire project history of a given property and matches homeowners with renovation specialists, has raised a total of $33 million, including an angel round of $6.25 million at launch, and is now valued at more than $85 million, said chief executive officer Matt Ehrlichman.

Parallel to Porch’s announcement, another company focused on the New York market, Sweeten, launched out of beta today and announced a partnership with Corcoran Group Real Estate. In 2013, Sweeten raised $1.3 million in seed funding from Gotham Gal Ventures, Great Oaks Venture Capital, and others.

Both companies compete in the nascent but growing field of home renovation matchmaking against the likes of industry pioneer and giant HomeAdvisor, which is owned by Barry Diller’s IAC, best known for its romantic matchmaking sites and OKCupid. The growth in digital home renovation matchmaking dovetails with an online real estate boom, highlighted by Zillow’s $3.5 billion purchase of Trulia in July, a deal aimed squarely at cornering the online real estate advertising market.

Porch’s strategic partnership with Lowe’s led to its participation in the funding round, Ehrlichman said in an interview with BuzzFeed News. The website is featured in all 1,720 Lowe’s stores in the U.S. and its employees direct homeowners and industry professionals to it when looking for research or work on renovation projects.

Ehrlichman described Porch not as an OKCupid for home renovation, but rather as a LinkedIn, serving as an online marketplace for homeowners and renovation specialists to connect. The site’s database features detailed information on more than 120 million renovation projects and the professionals who did the work, obtained through both available public record such as permits and licenses as well as partnerships with places like Lowe’s; Hanley-Wood, which provides marketing services for the commercial and residential design and construction industries; and even software companies that handle invoicing for contractors, painters and others. All of the professionals on Porch have been verified as having a license and being insured and bonded, and user reviews of them are verified as well.

The site is free to use for both homeowners and industry professionals, and Porch doesn’t let the latter group pay to be featured or move up in search results. Not unlike LinkedIn, however, it does allow them to subscribe to a premium service where it can obtain information on competitors, which is one way the site generates revenue.

The other way is through what’s called the “Porch Home Report,” which Ehrlichman described as a “Carfax for the home.” The report gives homeowners access to all available data on the improvement history of a home — where work was done, how much it cost, who performed it — so they can better tailor their offers. But instead of charging the prospective homeowner for the report, Porch basically leverages it into a marketing service for real estate agents, who pay the site to send the report on their behalf. The real estate agent not only gets access to the same home improvement information as the prospective buyer, but also gets to include a headshot and information about their agency on the report.

Ehrlichman declined to provide Porch’s revenue figures, citing its status as a private company, but pointed to the fact that the company now has more than 200 employees from 25 at launch a year ago to illustrate its growth.

For its part, Sweeten said it has $100 million worth of project featured on its site, with values ranging from $15,000 to more than $1 million. / Via

via BuzzFeed
Otmane El Rhazi : Home Improvement Startup Porch Stealthily Raised Over $30M

Otmane El Rhazi from Forbes - Financing.

On its first birthday, Seattle-based home improvement startup announced that not only had it stealthily raised $33 million in funding but it also swelled its ranks to 200 employees in just 12 months. CEO Matt Ehrlichman says Porch closed a $27.6 million Series A earlier this year, and most of the cash came from DIY chain Lowe’s, rather than a Silicon Valley venture capital firm.

Home Improvement Startup Porch Stealthily Raised Over $30M - Forbes


Home Improvement Startup Porch Stealthily Raised Over $30M
On its first birthday, Seattle-based home improvement startup announced that not only had it stealthily raised $33 million in funding but it also swelled its ranks to 200 employees in just 12 months. CEO Matt Ehrlichman says Porch closed a $27.6 …
Lowe’s Leads’s $27.6M Series A, Plans Venture FundDow Jones Bankruptcy & Debt (subscription)

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via TechCrunch

Porch, the fast-growing site for finding home improvement professionals (and data about them), today announced the launch of a new feature that complements its current strategy. The company is bringing Houzz-like inspiration pages to its platform that are meant to help professionals better show off their skills and allow homeowners to find the right pros for their jobs.

Porch CEO and founder Matt Ehrlichman also tells me that the company now has over 200 employees and that it has hired Jason Allen as its first CTO. Allen is joining Porch from Amazon, where he was part of the company’s Local team. Prior to that, he was senior director of development at Zynga and the VP of Engineering at Geeknet. To make space for all of its new hires, Porch recently moved into a larger office space in Seattle.

As Ehrlichman tells me, Porch’s inspiration feature is different from that of its competitors because the company can draw on its deep pool of data about home improvement projects. So instead of just being able to look for an interesting kitchen remodel, you can now use Porch to find only $10,000 kitchen remodels in your neighborhood or look at the million-dollar homes in your area and see what projects they have done, who did them and how much they cost (in case you either really need to keep up with the Joneses — or just get your house ready for a resale). “Nobody else can show you what the real price was for a given project,” Ehrlichman noted, though he also stressed that all the data is anonymized and that you can never see the exact address of the home you are looking at.

Porch has data about 120 million projects, Ehrlichman tells me. Many of the professionals in its network already regularly upload photos of their projects to the service. Sadly, Porch won’t disclose the exact number of images it currently features. According to Ehrlichman, it’s a “very, very large number,” though.

Ehrlichman tells me that Porch is in the process of ramping up its product development cycle now that its integrations with Lowes and are up and running. While he wouldn’t say what exactly the company is working on, chances are its next batch of features will also center around its data platform, given that this is the company’s specialty.
Porch tops 200 people in one year, hires new CTO from Amazon

Porch tops 200 people in one year, hires new CTO from Amazon

Less than a year after launching nationally, home improvement data startup Porch has grown 10-fold to more than 200 people —including a new CTO, hired from Amazon — and is expanding its headquarters by more than 50 percent, requiring some home improvement of its own. “We’ll be knocking down a couple of walls and giving our team a bit of breathing room,” said Porch CEO Matt Ehrlichman, discussing…

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