4iP makes £350k equity investment in

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MyBuilder.comChannel 4’s 4iP fund has acquired a minority equity stake in former Seedcamp winner, for £350,000. As part of the deal,’s services will be integrated into Channel 4’s 4Homes website, with the company getting a proportion of CPA revenue generated through the site.

The deal is significantly 4iP’s first investment into a later stage company with a fully formed product and a proven business model. 4iP’s Daniel Heaf says it’s representative of Channel 4’s strategic aims to diversify its own revenue streams, and as such, this could be the first of many similar investments which further the broadcaster’s remit in public service digital media. aims to solve two simple user needs; the difficulty homeowners have in finding good builders; and the problems builders face in getting the right work when and where they need it. Not unlike eBay buyer and seller ratings, tradesmen are rated on their workmanship by those who hire them, making it easier for consumers to find high quality builders and avoid cowboy builders and other rogue traders.

Former stonemason Ryan Notz founded the company as Buildersite in 2004. The site relaunched as, attracted angel investment and turned its first profit in 2008. Today, is getting in excess of 6,000 jobs posted monthly, and the company says it is more than doubling revenue every quarter.

Notz says the company will use 4iP’s investment to ramp up its marketing efforts and forging commercial deals with relevant partners. They’ll also be hiring soon, and focusing on product development.

  • TM

    Congrats! Great partnership.

  • Rob Eberstein

    Congratulations Ryan and team. The site looks great and you’re offering a great solution to common pain. The partnership with 4iP is a killer – congrats.

  • James Riddett

    Congratulations Guys!

    Best wishes for the future!

    James and team at Bytes !

  • Rob Hinchcliffe

    Very happy for Ryan and the team.

    We used to share an office with these guys so I’ve seen first hand how hard they work.

  • Darren Fell

    Ryan, well done on getting this round of investment and what a perfect partnership!

    Good work!


  • Andrew Hunter

    Many congrats to Ryan and team.

  • Toby R


    It is interesting to note that the TC50 winner (RedBeacon) is in this area too.

  • Nick

    As a builder, I find mybuilder cumbersome and difficult to secure work with. There is another called ( that is easier for both the builder and customer to use and understand and offers a far quicker response to both parties. It has a ratings facility too. The builders are also known by their trade names and not, as on mybuilder, by strange monikers like plumber6256.
    Mybuilder takes a % of the value of each job secured thru the site, payable by the builder after lengthy negotiations with the customer. There is no limit on the amount of builders able to quote for each job.
    On ratedtradespeople, the builder pays an immediate, upfront fee for each lead with a maximum of three builders quoting for each job. Its therefore clearer and easier to use for both parties.
    Ratedtradespeople has had very good trade and national press coverage too.
    On the one hand, its great news that this type of site is getting publicity but I cant help but feel that mybuilder is built on hype and connections. Ryan, though he says he is a stonemason, has no understanding of the builder side at all. Indeed, he can’t be a stonemason as the apprenticeship is over 5 years and his age and the sums dont add up!!
    Maybe this new investment will take mybuilder to a new, more professional level. It certainly allows the original investors a potential get out soon!
    Good luck- just dont get caught in the talk-up!

    • Nick

      Sorry, and just as another footnote, there are no check ups on any of the builders applying for the works. See how many builders are quoting for works in excess of the VAT threshold that aren’t VAT registered for example!
      You can also pay mybuilder to incorporate references from clients that have not used mybuilder.
      Just to give you all the heads up (‘cos there arent many builders reading techcrunch!!).

    • Ryan

      Thanks for your views, Nick. MyBuilder won’t work for everyone, and I’m sorry it hasn’t for you. Interestingly, the site you were plugging arguably has worse problems, as described here:

      “…You often find that the customer cannot be contacted because he / she has already had the work done or that the lead was in fact an old lead from previous weeks. So you’ve just paid up to £40 for nothing. If you contact Rated People to inform them of this they say that they won’t refund any money to the tradesperson and this is just an anomaly which doesn’t really happen.

      I have actually paid for ten prospective leads/quotes in succession all of varying amounts but totalling £240 +VAT without any return. It was always the same story customers could not be contacted or if they could the work had already been completed previously. Rated People are adamant that they will not refund cash under any circumstances and only offer a referral credit i.e. free lead as a goodwill gesture which, going on previous attempts at gaining customers is just another hit and miss attempt.

      It’s almost like saying “Here’s a box which might have something spectacular in it. Pay us £50 and you can have the box but you can’t look in it until you’ve paid us”. “Oh was there nothing in it, don’t worry try another one…..nothing in that either well here’s a free one which will have nothing in as well”

      It’s not to say one is great the other is terrible, but no system can get work for everyone. As I always remind my team: the only thing that matters to a tradesman using our site is whether they get work from it.

      As to my age and stonemasonry career, how young do you think I am? ;) But you’re right in that I didn’t do a UK apprenticeship, I learned the trade in France.

      In terms of understanding builders, I would never want to rely on my experience alone. 1/3 of our team is dedicated to speaking with and serving our customers directly. The learnings that come from picking up the phone and speaking with our tradesmen are invaluable, and your feedback adds to that knowledge and our determination to constantly improve our service.


      • Nick

        Thanks for that Ryan, its good to know you’re reading all the feedback!
        Could you just clarify about buying references in? And how much income is generated like that? Also, what thorough check ups do you do on your tradesmen? National insurance, PAYE and vat registered etc? Are all your tradesmen allowed to work in the UK?
        And lastly, how long is a stonemason’s apprenticeship in France v England?
        Otherwise, I think your site has potential- its just missing some intelligent builder input ;-)

  • Fabio

    Great news for MyBuilder! Way to go Ryan, you deserve this.

  • Nick Sturge

    This is a fantastic story. SETsquared are proud to have been around to help in the myBuilder’s early years.
    I’ve also used the product on a number of occasions – with great success.

    Well done to Ryan & the team.

  • Citiservi’s semantic local search rolls out into UK and Italy

    […] qualified registered businesses and their potential clients. Though unlike the German MyHammer or the recently covered Mybuilder, Citiservi charges per lead, rather than on % of fees paid to the hired service […]

  • Pete

    Excellent achievement and a very effective site. My question is what website/s were most influential in the design?

    The outsoucing and tendering websites like elance, guru, rentacoder etc seem to have almost identical functionality, all forming in circa 2001.

    Were these the main inspiration?

    The ratedpeople vs mybuilder debate is easy to settle. Their functionality is quite different even though they perform the same task.

    Rated people is probably better if you need someone quickly in an emergency situation. Rated people would also be better for the less I.T literate and patient people.

    Mybuilder is better if you have more time or just want speculative quotes.

    Personally for me as a consumer mybuilder wins hands down. I don’t want people phoning me, especially not for me to repeat myself 3 times. I also like the idea that you don’t have to do anything if you don’t want to, it’s much less intrusive.

    Mybuilder is going to be HUGE.

  • Michael

    Can I firstly say a big congratulations to Ryan, the mybuilder site is a great looking site and reading the story of the business is an inspiration.

    I can however see the frustrations for tradesmen with the costs associated with these sites mentioned above.

    We have recently launched the site which is similar in principle however we do not charge the tradesmen lead or success fee’s or commision on their jobs as we do not believe it is fair taking a percentage of the trade companies revenue especially in the current climate when the building industry is under pressure.

    It is also our belief that these fees are passed ultimately onto the end customer as the trade companies will still have to maintain their margins.

    So if anyone wishes to post a job do so on our site and hopefully get a great quote or if tradesmen wish to try it out it is free to register with no obligation until 2010.


  • Paul Sawyer


    The site for me has tripled my income in a very short period of time.
    As a Property improvement company, working with a sub contract team, find if you have the savvy to reply to questions from potential clients with some form of inteligence you get good responses.
    Ive previously been a Business Manager and Sales Manager and find it very easy to liaise with clients and obtain work.
    I think a majority of the Builders on the site who say they find it hard to use and don’t get any work need to think about the way they interact with the client.
    Ive only been a member since the beggining of August and have 14+ feedback with no negative.
    This to me acts as insentive to always do a good job.
    Anyway just thought i would express how well the site is working for me and what a cracking job you and the team are doing.

    Keep the investment cogs turning things can only get better.

    Best Wishes
    Data Build

  • Michelle

    It has been really interesting to read the business road travelled by Ryan. The business model is strong and provides a good service for consumers and tradespeople. We are in the process of setting up which will work on a similar proposition.

    We are working hard to attract tradepeople to register on the site, providing the first three months free of charge as an incentive – any tips the building trade may have to attract more people to sign up would be gratefully received.

    Best regards


  • Johan

    Hi All. What do you guys think of The site has been around since 2006 and the costs for tradesman seem quite low in comparison.

    Given the problems with all the sites what would be a good alternative business models for such sites? I’m wondering if the marketing costs of a good site to lure job posts can somehow be paid by the tradesmen successfully securing the jobs on a co-operative way?


    • Sesli Sohbet

      Thanks good comments

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