When you live in a home, something always breaks. And it can be difficult to know who to call and if you can afford the repairs. That’s where Puls Technologies come in.
Now armed with $15 million in fresh capital led by Hanaco Venture Capital, the Livermore, California-based company, which offers on-demand home repair services through its mobile app, is also going after the home insurance market by launching an appliance warranty option for appliances like refrigerators, washers, dryers and ovens, starting at about $29 per month.
To do this, Puls taps into prediction algorithms to match the technician with the job so that repairs are made in a timely and hassle-free manner and typically within one or two days, versus weeks. The company works with more than 7,000 vetted technicians in 20 cities across the United States.
The company initially got started in 2015 as a mobile phone repair service, and in 2020 underwent a management shift that pivoted the business model to memberships, Gabi Peles, Puls CEO, said via email.
It decided to go after appliance warranties after not only seeing the thousands of complaints that come from customers each year related to traditional home warranty services, but also how 61% of Americans are unable to afford an unexpected $1,000 expense.
“High fees, fine print, excluding costly issues and the delay of dispatching handymen to a job portray the limitations of pre-existing warranty plans,” Peles said. “Puls allows users to gain more coverage for most home appliances at a reasonable price. We are also committed to enhancing the experience of technicians, providing them with a platform that drives new business by increasing the daily amount of jobs they can access and offering additional income opportunities with upselling and cross-selling.”
Under its previous management structure, Puls raised $96 million, including a $50 million round back in 2018. This latest $15 million is the first under the company’s new management, Peles said.
The company grew 100% over the last six months, including nearly doubling its employee base to 60 in the past year. It saw some of that demand related to the global pandemic, when the need for home repairs increased due to people spending more time at home.
Peles explained that the average refrigerator door is opened and closed 20 times per day, but with everyone at home, that rose to over 100 times, sparking an increase in the number of door repair requests.
To continue meeting that demand, Puls intends to use the new funding to expand its footprint to over 40 cities and expects to reach over 100 employees by the end of 2022.
Meanwhile, Lior Prosor, general partner and co-founder of Hanaco Venture Capital, said via email that Puls was going after a home repair and maintenance services market in the U.S. that was both large and fragmented across hundreds of thousands of different service providers.
That leaves both technicians and homeowners underserved: the technician lacks the tools to excel at their jobs, while the homeowner receives lackluster service, he added. Puls changes that for technicians by handling the scheduling, pricing, billing and customer service so that they can focus on the customer.
“We saw a great opportunity to double down on the company’s operating model change in 2020,” Prosor said. “We had a strong conviction in Gabi’s vision that Puls’ assets could be used to build the best home care company in the insurtech market.
“The business is at a clear inflection point with new membership and warranty products driving increasing and exciting business metrics that point to a sustainable growth trajectory,” he added. “The platform is both cost-effective and has proven product-market-fit across both project-based jobs and ‘Click & Fix’ subscription services, with an exciting pipeline of new offerings in its warranty and home insurance products.”