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Brier Dudley's blog

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

January 20, 2015 at 10:20 AM

Porch gets covered with $65 million

Seattle home-improvement startup Porch.com announced today that it raised $65 million, bringing its pickup-load of financing to $100 million. The deal values the company at more than $500 million.

“It’s just fuel to help us continue to achieve our mission,” founder and Chief Executive Matt Ehrlichman said.

The new funding will help Porch expand its home-services booking service nationally after its testing in the Seattle area.

porchLOK2-620x413

Ehrlichman in Porch’s offices in February photo by John Lok, Times staff photographer.

Ehrlichman also plans to keep hiring like crazy and said Porch’s staff could double again this year. It now employs more than 350 and will probably need to find a new building to occupy as it outgrows its current space along Eastlake Avenue.

The company needs strong backing to win in the hyper competitive home-improvement space. Palo Alto, Calif.-based Houzz has fewer employees but has raised more than $200 million — including $165 million in an October round that reportedly valued it at more than $2 billion — and is expanding overseas.

Venture funding of new companies in this region increased 34 percent last year, but remains below the pre-recession peak, according to reports last week. Porch’s $65 million is in the upper range of last year’s financing rounds.

Porch isn’t yet disclosing details of sales or site usage, but Ehrlichman said sales grew by more than 1,000 percent over the past 12 months.

“Things are truly growing explosively,” he said, adding that Porch’s subscriptions for home-improvement pros and booking services are doing “exceptionally well.”

Whether Porch will need additional funding before it decides to offer shares publicly or seek a merger remains to be seen.

“We’re not really thinking about it,” Ehrlichman said. “We’re at the stage of the company where we’re just trying to build great products and delighting homeowners.”

Porch went outside of the Seattle area for its latest funding, with Chicago-based Valor Equity Partners leading the Series B round announced today. Valor Chief Executive Antonio Gracias, who sits on the boards of Tesla and SpaceX, is joining Porch’s board.

Other new backers include Founders Fund, Battery Ventures, Panorama Point Partners and solo investors, including home-improvement personality Ty Pennington.

Previous investors Lowe’s Cos. and Capricorn Investment Group also participated.

Pennington adds some flash to the deal, but I keep waiting for Porch or perhaps Pro.com to enlist the help of “Home Improvement” star Richard Karn.

 

Comments | Topics: porch.com, seattle, Startups

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