HomeX, a home services platform for homeowners and service providers, raised $ 90 million in a funding round led by New Mountain Capital.
New Mountain Capital, a New York-based investment firm with more than $ 30 billion in assets under management, was the only institutional investor to put money in addition to company executives. The company was overwhelmed by debt funding of more than $ 50 million in 2019.
HomeX, based in Chicago, was founded in 2017 and aims to radically improve home services by bringing service workers together virtually and in person with homeowners. The company has also developed software and provides contractor services to help them control and manage demand more “efficiently”.
In particular, one of the company’s co-founders, CTO Simon Weaverand several team members were on the development team at Evi, a startup that had created an AI program that can be used to communicate in natural language via an app purchased from Amazon This technology was essentially the brain behind Amazon’s virtual assistant, Alexa.
HomeX uses Artificial Intelligence to virtually diagnose problems at home before a contractor even goes home, with the aim of helping them resolve a problem faster (e.g. by having the necessary equipment upfront) what in turn, makes customers happier.
“We use machine-generated content to create solutions that are specific to a homeowner’s problems,” said Co-Founder and President Victor Payen. “Using machines to understand the symptoms, ask the questions, and actually get to a diagnosis and a recommendation or solution is where AI really shines and enables us to do things that were three or five before Years were not possible. “
Co-founder and CEO Michael Werner worked in the $ 500 billion service industry for years (Werner Ladders founded his family) and realized how fragmented it was. He also admits that in certain markets in particular, there is “a terrible imbalance between very high demand and not enough contractors to get the job done, or rather, a terrible shortage of labor”.
HomeX Remote Assist Specifically, homeowners are virtually connected (by phone, video, or chat) with HomeX licensed technicians to diagnose and troubleshoot common problems at home. According to Werner, this division has grown by more than 400% in less than a year. In the past year, the company grew by about five times the number of contractors on its platform. It was refused to disclose sales figures.
“We’re making house maintenance less complicated for homeowners,” said Werner. “At the same time, we want to help the contractor to succeed. Much like telemedicine has changed the way medication is dispensed, HomeX Remote Assist will transform the service experience for taking care of your home. “
Another rapidly growing division of HomeX is the B2B offering. Household warranty and insurance companies see remote services as “very additive to making their business more efficient,” says Payen.
“We are using some of our capital on a pilot program and a number of business development opportunities,” he said.
While the company is currently not profitable overall, it is profitable on the service side of its business, according to Werner. It has 250 employees and is under contract with 750 service employees. Over the years, the company has served “hundreds of thousands” of customers through its platform, defined by unique virtual and physical appointments.
Harris Kealey, managing director of New Mountain Capital, said his firm views HomeX as a company focused on reshaping the residential and commercial services industry.
“The market is huge and the need for change and innovation is considerable,” he said in a written statement.
Another company in the field, Thumbtack, recently expanded its video home checkups. Thumbtack, a marketplace where you can hire local home improvement and other services like repairs, acquired Setter in December, a startup that provided its customers with expert video home checkups and then personalized plans to fix Offered problems.
Thumbtack laid off 250 employees in late March 2020 after the company experienced sharp declines in its main markets. Since then, however, CEO Marco Zappacosta has told Biomedarticles that there is “a renewed focus on the home and an acceleration of digital adoption.”