Porch.com has bought San Francisco-based Fountain, an app that connects homeowners to experts on home and garden projects. In addition to the funding, Porch has hired Eric Doerr as chief product officer and Jim Dantzler as vice president of design. No financial terms were disclosed. Fountain’s backers included Shasta Ventures and First Round Capital.
SEATTLE, Oct. 29, 2015 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Porch.com (http://porch.com), a home services platform for homeowners and home professionals, announced today the acquisition of Fountain, disclosed the hiring of several key leaders, and outlined a vision for 2016 that will make getting home projects completed easier than ever before in a year when demand for home services is expected to accelerate to near record levels.
The acquisition of Fountain comes shortly after Porch marked its two-year anniversary. With this acquisition, Porch is announcing a new office in San Francisco located at 799 Market Street.
Porch is seeing tremendous demand from homeowners seeking quality professionals to handle their home services needs. During the period between September 1, 2014 and September 1, 2015, Porch delivered over $1.8B in potential new business to more than 100,000 home improvement professionals.
“From day one the mission of Porch has been very simple – help people love their home,” said Matt Ehrlichman, Chief Executive Officer and Chairman of Porch. “Over the last two years we have made investments in technology, data, and high quality home service professionals to help us create a platform that will fundamentally change the way homeowners maintain, repair, and manage their homes. With the acquisition of Fountain, we will take huge steps forward with our consumer experience, helping homeowners get connected with the very best Guaranteed Professionals or now complete projects themselves with help from Home Experts, powered by Fountain’s natural language search, artificial intelligence, and communication technology.”
“Matt and the team at Porch are on to something big,” said Aaron Patzer, CEO and co-founder of Fountain and former founder and CEO of Mint.com. “I’m really happy to announce the acquisition of Fountain by Porch.com. Fountain has worked hard to ensure you can access a live professional over text, talk and video chat in about a minute. With Porch + Fountain, not only can you access an interior designer, architect, gardener, electrician, plumber or appliance repair expert in about 90 seconds, but if you get stuck on DIY, Porch can send a professional to your house. The combination is transformative for anyone who owns a home.”
Patzer is re-locating overseas for personal reasons but will remain an active product advisor for Porch. Meanwhile, the Porch San Francisco office will be led by Fountain co-founder and Chief Technology Officer, Jean Sini. Prior to Fountain, Jean was CTO & CPO at One King’s Lane.
Porch Acquires Fountain; Puts Emphasis on Connections
Launched in October 2014, Fountain was designed to help people whenever they are stuck on a problem by connecting them with highly rated experts who can help. In 5 minutes or less, users are connected one-on-one through video chat, text and photos with annotation. The wider goal of Fountain is to introduce a new type of search: plain English typed or spoken is understood, and the asker is connected instantly to the person most qualified to answer and assist by using artificial intelligence in the service of connecting to the most powerful intelligence: another human.
Over the last year Porch has worked to build a home services platform that utilizes data to help homeowners connect with the right home services professional to complete their projects. With over 3.8M professionals and over 138M projects in the Porch network, Porch has insights into who is the best professional to hire for specific projects.
Last month, Porch took things a step further with the rollout of the Porch Guarantee, a promise that homeowners can connect with vetted professional that will do quality work.
In addition to growing the Porch Guaranteed Professional network, in 2016 Porch will be focused on making it easier for homeowners to get projects done by focusing on the development and implementation of technology that will make sure every homeowner gets their project done, whether with help from a Home Expert or through a connection with a Guaranteed Professional.
“The future of how people repair, maintain and manage their home deserves to be different,” said Asha Sharma, Chief Operating Officer of Porch. “Today, the biggest pain homeowners experience (that should be simple) is getting a professional or expert to connect with them. Porch is committed to transforming this experience; we believe it should be preventative, proactive and personal. Focusing on the connection will be a core step forward for customer experience across technology and operations.”
Porch’s investment in Fountain will replace beta efforts of Porch’s in-person Home Assistant program that has been running in stealth in the Seattle and Chicago areas. Through technology instead of people, Porch can more quickly scale nationally a truly unique experience that changes how homeowners maintain their homes.
Porch Rounds Out Leadership Team
In addition to the acquisition of Fountain, establishment of a San Francisco technology office, and sharing its vision to make completing home projects easy with connections between homeowners, professionals, and experts; Porch also announced several important hires as it rounds out its leadership team for the year ahead.
Porch has hired Eric Doerr as Chief Product Officer
In this role Eric will lead the team to deliver an outstanding product that simplifies the lives of both homeowners and pros. Prior to joining Porch, Eric worked at Microsoft for more than 20 years, overseeing product management in areas such as personal finance, health and fitness, and digital photography. Most recently, he was Partner GM for Microsoft Account and Azure Active Directory authentication, leading the identity services that form the backbone of thousands of individual products inside and outside Microsoft, including Office 365, Windows, Xbox and Skype.
Porch has hired Jim Dantzler as Vice President of Design
In this role Jim will lead the user experience, visual, and creative direction for Porch to delight our customers. Prior to Porch, Jim was the Head of UX Design for Amazon Instant Video where he led multidisciplinary design teams in Seattle and London in the support of Amazon video apps on web, connected TVs and mobile devices. From 2001 to 2005 Jim was responsible for the UX design of wide range of experiences including the Amazon.com home page, product detail pages and innovative marketing products that introduced customers to new product categories. Jim also led design for Jobster where he was responsible for product strategy and design of recruiter and job-seeker products, helping employers and candidates use social networking tools to find a career match.
Porch is a home services platform, free for homeowners and home professionals including experts. With over 3.8 million professionals, hundreds of experts, and over 135 million projects, Porch enables homeowners to make smart home improvement decisions by giving them the information they need to find the right professionals, get inspiration, and manage their home. Porch is available online, through its app and serves as the in-store resource for all Lowes in over 1,700 Lowe’s home improvement stores across the U.S. For more information about Porch, visit http://porch.com