There’s no shortage of digital middlemen that make it easy for consumers to hunt down home services professionals online –TaskRabbit, Pro.com and Porch among others.
Real estate startup Setter aims to add another layer of ease by pairing homeowners with a concierge that can coordinate with various professionals to handle upkeep on their behalf.
The startup just announced an additional $ 10 million in funding and backing from Sequoia Capital, NFX and Hustle, as it branches out from Toronto to San Francisco and gears up to expand to many other markets across North America. Sequoia Capital partner Jess Lee is also joining Setter’s board of directors.
“In home maintenance, consumers often find themselves dealing with inconsistent service, variable pricing, multiple points of contact, and outdated businesses,” said Pete Flint, a managing partner at NFX and former CEO and founder of Trulia. Flint will now serve as an advisor to Setter’s board of directors.
“We believe Setter is the right team and product to transform home maintenance, delivering customers with the experience they want, need, and expect,” he added.
Setter aims to take the logistics of home maintenance off the hands of homeowners and render maintenance “so convenient and reliable that it becomes invisible,” Setter CEO Guillaume said in a statement.
Its mobile apps, available for both Apple and Android devices, pair every user with a “home manager” who can help with booking over 100 types of home services (e.g. window cleaning, landscaping and furnace installation); finding and vetting professionals; scheduling and managing job completion and payment; and providing home care recommendations to users.
The startup’s business model reflects growing recognition that do-it-yourself tech-powered services hold limited attraction to consumers, while adding a human component can significantly increase their appeal.
This is something that real estate agents have always emphasized amid predictions of their demise and the struggles of all the startups that have tried, and largely failed, to automate their jobs.
Sequoia Capital co-led the funding round with NFX, with participation from Hustle Fund. Jess Lee, a partner at Sequoia, will join the Setter Board of Directors.
Drawing on insight from real estate tech vet Flint, NFX has shown strong appetite for industry startups. Just last week, it co-led a massive $ 225 million Series A equity and debt funding round for Ribbon, a startup that allows buyers to guarantee a closing to homesellers.