Serviz, one of the new breed of home pro sites, has been sold to Porch. The combination will help Porch reassert itself in an active but nascent marketplace that has been projected at possibly reaching $400 Billion.
Competitors include Yelp, Amazon, Google, Thumbtack, Home Advisor/Angie’s List and Home Depot’s Pro Referral (formerly RedBeacon.) No one in the space has built a bullet-proof lead.
Seattle-based Porch had been valued at $500 Million just a few years ago, when there was a crest of interest in home improvement sites. It had made big deals for home improvement leads with major companies like Lowes and Wayfair.com, but was overwhelmed by the high costs of launching nationwide.
Half of its 450 staff was laid off in 2015-16. Now, the company is clearly in rebuild mode.
Porch’s personnel count is back to earlier levels and it recently acquired Done.com, another home pro leads site. Porch reported in 2017 that its network of 300,000 home service pros in 25 markets did $1 billion of transactions on the site.
Serviz, meanwhile, provides Porch with a network of 40,000 service pros in Los Angeles, Orange County, San Diego, and Phoenix. Porch might also adopt part of Serviz’ mobile platform and price comparison features.
Initially launched within ReachLocal as “ClubLocal,” Serviz was the 2012 brainchild of ReachLocal execs Zorik Gordon and Michael Kline. It had raised $20 Million.
Gordon and Kline’s vision was to move away from high churning and under-performing ad sales and guarantee a high volume of cloud-based sales to home service pros. But the company – quickly moved out of ReachLocal, along with Gordon and Kline — faced strong headwinds in the crowded home pro services marketplace, which remains less digitally oriented.
Eventually, Serviz, apparently unable to meet growth targets, sought to differentiate itself by focusing on high-end custom services and comprehensive customer services, such as guarantees and detailed price lists.