Porch, a soon to be launched home improvement and repair marketplace, has raised $6.25 million is funding from SV Angel, Chamath Palihapitiya, Javier Olivan, Jeff Skoll, Bill Lee, Geoff Entress, Charles Moldow, and others.
Porch is a Pinterest-like platform for home design and improvement that also connects you to professionals who can make the designs and reconstruction a reality in your own home or apartment. You view other neighbors’ home projects, see their actual project costs, and decide on the right professional by seeing friend endorsements.
At launch, Porch, which is still private and won’t be available until later in the year (through you can request early access on the site), has over 1.4 million professionals who can be reached via its platform. According to a 2012 Porch survey, 98%
of homeowners experience pain when finding a professional and knowing the price for their home needs. By understanding work history and which professionals’ friends and neighbors endorse, Porch says that it is able to provide homeowners with free, personalized, and vetted word of mouth recommendations for make home improvements.
And not only does the site collect data on professionals, but Porch has aggregated information on 60 million home improvement projects from these individuals with 600,000 photos. So the site will highlight actual project costs alongside before and after photos, and surface the professionals that worked multiple times for neighbors and friends and on specific projects at similar homes.
The Seattle-based startup was founded by data, marketplace, and consumer acquisition entrepreneurs, including CEO Matt Ehrlichman, from Google, Microsoft, Expedia and others.
Every year, residential construction and home improvement spending totals over $500 billion, so this is a huge, potential market for Porch. And other players in the space, including Houzz and Zillow’s Digs, are also trying to help homeowners both draw inspiration and find the right contractors online to manage home improvement.