Thumbtack.com, a site that helps people find local service providers (from house cleaners to DJs to math tutors, to use the three examples on the company homepage), unveiled a big redesign earlier this week.
Co-founder Sander Daniels says the original version of Thumbtack tried to make finding a service provider easier by avoiding the standard search interface — people posted what job they were looking for, then Thumbtack connected those posters with a professionals who were qualified to do the work. That’s still the basic idea, but the new site is “significantly easier and more sophisticated,” Daniels says. Now, when you type in the general category that you’re looking for, Thumbtack helps you with the listing by asking questions about the basic information that you’ll need to enter.
For example, when I told Thumbtack that I was looking for a housecleaner, the site promised that it has more than 100 cleaners near San Francisco, and it asked me about how often the cleaning needs to happen, how many bedrooms and bathrooms I have, and the best times for the cleaners to come. There are more esoteric services too — as you can see in the screenshot above, where someone’s looking for a paranormal investigator.
As part of the revamp, Thumbtack has created a slick-looking video walking viewers through a couple of use cases, which you can watch here.
And in an effort “to support the 275,000 freelancers and small businesses who use our site to find work” (as Daniels puts it), Thumbtack also partnered with the Kauffman Foundation to measure the small business friendliness of cities and states, based on things on hiring costs, regulations, and economic health. You can see the results here, where I learned that California gets an “F” in overall friendliness — but at least I was slightly molliffed to see that within the state, San Francisco’s Bay Area is tops.
Thumbtack announced raising a $4.5 million Series A led by Javelin Venture Partners in January.