Moving and relocation app Updater has acquired Dolly, an on-demand local moving and delivery service, for an undisclosed price, the company announced this week.
New York-based Updater helps homebuyers tackle moving-related tasks, such as hiring a moving company, forwarding mail, changing utilities, and connecting their TV and internet service. Real estate agents can pay $149 per year to offer a branded version of the app to their clients.
Seattle-based Dolly, now an Updater Technologies subsidiary, operates in 45 cities and allows its customers to book same-day service, select narrow delivery windows and get real-time tracking. The company partners with retailers, such as Costco, Crate and Barrel, Lowe’s, Big Lots, and The Container Store.
“For Updater and Dolly users, they benefit from greater optionality and more resources to coordinate all aspects of their moves, while moving partners gain access to new lead generation opportunities and additional support on bigger moves,” a spokesperson told Inman via email.
“Our real estate partners and service providers benefit from our strengthened consumer value proposition, which will help to drive even greater adoption.”
In a press release, Updater said the deal advances the company’s “mission to be the go-to destination for consumers to conquer moves of all sizes.” This is Updater’s fourth acquisition in nearly four years. The company bought IGC Software and Asset Controls Inc., firms that provide business-management software to moving companies, in 2017, and customer acquisition company Bridgevine in December 2019.
Updater said the Dolly acquisition would bolster its product offering by allowing users to seamlessly book “highly-rated, affordable Dolly’ Helpers’ for small local moves” when a full-service moving company isn’t practical while at the same time allowing Dolly users whose moves are too big or far for its network of Helpers to be “funneled to another subsidiary of Updater, MoveHQ, which supports a nationwide network of full-service moving companies.”
“Dolly’s innovative on-demand product has filled an unmet consumer need for cost-effective assistance for their smaller local moving and delivery needs, thereby creating greater optionality, convenience and overall satisfaction,” said David Greenberg, founder and CEO of Updater, in a statement.
“In Dolly, we are gaining best-in-class technology and service that we’re able to integrate into our platform, creating a frictionless purchasing experience for consumers and new opportunities for growth. We couldn’t be more excited to welcome Dolly into the Updater family.”
In a statement, Mike Howell, co-founder and CEO of Dolly, noted that Updater currently serves more than 25 percent of the 12.6 million U.S. household that move annually, “so this combination presents an immediate opportunity for us to dramatically expand the number of consumers we serve, driving tremendous growth and efficiency across markets.
“Not only is this great for consumers, but the opportunity to support Updater users will result in tens of thousands of new, high-quality, high-paying jobs for Dolly Helpers. It’s a win-win combination that strengthens our nationwide, on-demand local moving and delivery platform.”
The National Association of Realtors’ venture capital firm Second Century Ventures has invested twice in Updater. In 2014, Updater closed an $8 million funding round in which SCV contributed $1.97 million, representing an 8.7 percent stake in the startup. Updater was one of seven companies in the inaugural 2013 class of REACH, NAR’s tech incubator. In February 2020, Updater secured an additional $20 million in equity funding, led by SCV.
In June, Updater announced it had signed a deal with NAR to provide the trade group’s 1.48 million members with “unique and comprehensive real-time, pre-move data” that Updater obtains partly through partnerships with hundreds of real estate companies, including brokerage, mortgage, multifamily and more.
Editor’s note: This story has been updated to correct that this is Updater’s fourth, not third, acquisition in nearly four years.