If you’re looking to re-do your bathroom or upgrade your kitchen, you’re probably looking for contractors and home repairs professionals who work with your budget, your neighborhood, and your personal style. While companies like Angie’s List have popularlized the idea of finding the perfect person online, many people still ask friends and neighbors for suggestions before venturing online for advice.
A new startup from Seattle is launching in beta on Wednesday in attempt to change this. The company is called Porch, and it has $6.25 million in seed funding from some noted investors like SV Angel/Ron Conway, Chamath Palihapitiya, Javier Olivan, Jeff Skoll, Bill Lee, and others.
The home improvement and re-modeling market is a huge business, and it’s ripe for disruption because so much of the recommendations and transactions still exist off-line.
Porch is pulling in a variety of data from public records (although it wouldn’t say which ones), and will be using that data along with user reviews and photos in attempt to create a free version of Angie’s List that provides more location-based information with a social layer on top.
“It will automatically let you see kitchen remodels happening in their neighborhood, what the cost of the materials were pegged at, who worked on it, and endorsements from people in their social networks,” Asha Sharma, the VP of marketing explained. “It’s free for users and it’s based on the recommendations from people who live in your neighborhood who have homes like yours.”
Porch is currently only available to a select few users, although they can request access at the company’s site. It will be free for homeowners to use, and will be opening more widely to all users later this year.