A general contracting startup that uses technology to streamline home renovations has raised $33 million in a new round of funding led by Redfin and other big-name investors.
Pro.com announced the cash infusion Thursday, saying it “will fuel the expansion of our unique technology-driven general contracting business to new markets, with Portland being our next city.” The company is based in Seattle and currently operates there, as well as in Denver, San Francisco, San Jose and Phoenix.
Other participants in this latest round of funding — which brings the company’s total lifetime haul including previous rounds to $60 million — include Goldman Sachs, WestRiver Group and several venture capital companies. In addition, the funding led Pro.com to add three new people to its board of directors, including Redfin CEO Glenn Kelman.
In a statement Thursday, Kelman said that many Redfin “customers struggle to get professional renovation services, so we know firsthand that Pro.com’s market opportunity is massive.”
“Pro.com and Redfin share a commitment to combining technology and local, direct services to best take care of customers,” Kelman added.
A group of construction professionals and former Amazon executives launched Pro.com in 2013. The company uses technology to provide customers quotes online, to send customers mobile updates, and to estimate costs by drawing on comparisons to thousands of similar jobs. Pro.com oversees projects itself and employs managers and tradespeople, though it also works with subcontractors.
In its statement Thursday, Pro.com described the home remodeling industry as “broken” and criticized the “limited use of the latest technologies.”
“It’s time for a renovation,” the company continued. “Software and technology are used so infrequently in the construction industry resulting in one of the lowest productivity improvement rates across all industries.”
In an email Thursday, Pro.com spokesperson Mary Devincenzi told Inman that her company and Redfin have already conducted pilot projects together in the past. Moreover, Pro.com is now doing pilot renovations for Redfin’s iBuyer program Redfin Now, Devincenzi said.
She described Pro.com and Redfin as being in “very complementary industries.”
Redfin spokesperson Alina Ptaszynski confirmed that the two companies are currently exploring a partnership to see if the construction startup “can help us renovate the homes we buy through RedfinNow, and the homes we sell via our concierge service.”
Redfin has previously touted services such as Now and Concierge as keys to its growth. Redfin Concierge launched in 2017 and charges sellers 2 percent of their sale price to list a home and develop “a custom home improvement plan” that includes staging and minor renovations such as painting.
Redfin Concierge initially operated as a trial program in Los Angeles and Washington, D.C., but has since expanded to Seattle and San Francisco as well.
Neither Redfin nor Pro.com provided further information about their apparently nascent renovations partnership.
However, Pro.com’s tech-centric “renovation” seems to have struck a chord: The company claims that it has served thousands of customers on projects of varying scales, and that bookings in 2018 were up 275 percent over 2017. The company did not immediately respond to Inman’s request for more specific growth figures.
Pro.com’s latest round of fundraising comes amid intensifying competition in the home renovation space. December saw the launch of Block Renovation, for example, a direct-to-consumer startup that promises more streamlined and affordable remodeling services.
Another startup, Thumbtack uses technology to connect consumers to local contractors, though the platform is not limited to construction.
The new investment in Pro.com is also just the latest indication that Redfin would like to be a dominant player among companies offering renovation services to home sellers. In addition to building out the Redfin Now and Redfin Concierge programs, the company also recently hired Aaron Noe to serve as its renovations chief. Noe’s position was a new one, and represents a deeper commitment by the company to grow its renovation capacity.