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 Realtor.com 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.