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Brier Dudley offers a critical look at technology and business issues affecting the Northwest.

June 5, 2013 at 5:51 PM

Porch jumps into home improvement space with $6.25 million

Now that online real estate is thoroughly staked out, entrepreneurs are trying to digify home improvement.

The latest entrant is a Seattle startup called Porch, which today announced that it’s raised $6.25 million to build out its service providing referrals and design ideas. The 20-person company has been operating out of the basement of Chief Executive Matt Ehrlichman.

Like Zillow Digs and Palo Alto, Calif.-based Houzz, Porch is built around a visual, Pinterest-like social platform where people can create and share photos of home improvement projects. Builders, vendors and service providers can create profiles on the site free or pay a premium for extras to drive more consumer traffic their way.

Porch’s special sauce is its a free, personalized referral service that vets service providers and guarantees its recommendations.

“Porch’s mission is to change the world one home at a time by making home improvement and maintenance easy for homeowners,” Ehrlichman said in a blog post today.

The company claims to already have more than 1.4 million professionals signed on and data on 60 million projects across the country.

Ehrlichman previously started another company while at Stanford and sold it to Active Network, which has an office in Bothell.

Backing for Porch came from several dozen angel investors, including tech investors Geoff Entress in Seattle and Silicon Valley’s Ron Conway.

Here’s a screen shot of Ehrlichman’s page on Porch:

porch1

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