Porch: Get Your Dream House
Dorothy got it right in the Wizard of OZ: There’s no place like home.
Most people see their homes as a sanctuary – somewhere they can relax and let the day's stress slowly wash away. But for a house to be the perfect home for you, you must put in the effort. There is a lot of designing, remodeling, planning, etc., that can get messy.
Thanks to one individual, today, you can easily get in touch with a home improvement professional. Matt Ehrlichman decided that it was time for the age-old problem of finding a good professional that can help with the repair or improvement of your home to end. And that is when he and a couple of friends founded Porch!
Launched in 2012, Porch is a company that connects homeowners with local home service contractors. But the path to today’s success wasn’t an easy one.
Let’s get to the beginning and see how it all started.
Capacities Building for The Upcoming Success
Matt Ehrlichman, an ordinary man from Bothell, Washington, was born to be an entrepreneur. At age 15, Matt had an idea for a summer sports camp for kids, so he created the All-Star Camps, where he was personally teaching kids sports.
Matt pursued his dreams of entrepreneurship by enrolling at Stanford University. In 2003 he earned his Bachelor in Entrepreneurial Engineering and Masters in Management Science Engineering.
During his studies, Matt worked on his summer sports camp idea and grew it to the point where it developed into a new company – Camp Register, together with Ronnie Castro.
Ronnie Castro studied Product Design Engineering at the same university as Matt. In a dorm room in 1999, together with two more friends, Ronnie and Matt founded Camp Register, later renamed Thriva.
It was the first software startup launch for summer camp and event registrations. In more than 3 years, Thriva grew into an event registration tool for many different types of activities and events. In 2007 Thriva was acquired by Active Network, an online registration service for sports and community events – the deal was worth $60 million.
With this acquisition, Matt was appointed Chief Strategy Officer in Active Network, responsible for 85% of the company’s divisions. Matt had unstoppable success there and met the other three founders of the next start-up.
The Fellows From Active Network
Scott Austin mastered Civil Engineering at Columbia University in the City of New York in 1992, and after several short experiences, he started to work in Xbox Live. Scott stayed there for 11 years; his development in the company ended as a Business owner for Xbox LIVE marketplace games.
After Xbox LIVE, Scott spent one year in Active Network, where he was responsible for creating, formalizing, communicating, and driving the company's strategy.
The same year Scott was in Active Network, Ha Phan was a Lead Interaction Designer there. This San Diego State University student began her career as a senior UX designer in 2007 in Digitaria – an agency specializing in branding and digital solutions.
The third one, Eric Schleicher, worked as an analyst and software developer for about ten years after he graduated in 1998 from Arizona State University. In the following four years, Eric was appointed as Director of Information Delivery Services in Apollo Group. During 2011/12, Eric was the Data Enterprise Management Director at Active Network.
Together with Ronnie and Matt, these three Active Network colleagues embarked on a new journey to provide something that many people needed.
The Light Bulb Lit Up
Amidst creating his family home, Matt struggled to find and match professionals. After all the hassle and stress he had with his own project, he decided to help other homeowners and turned it into a business opportunity. Matt’s idea was to create an online place where homeowners could find various home-improvement professionals.
Together with Ronnie, Scott, Eric, and Ha, in April 2012, Matt established Porch, a home-improvement network. Matt became CEO and worked closely with Ha on product envisioning and storytelling. For less than 2 years, Ha leveraged aggregated home data together with the data science team, developed Design Ops, and mentored designers.
Scott was responsible for leading product development, business strategy, and business operations in the first 2 years of Porch. Eric was responsible for Porch's technology operations and recruitment and for creating a team of highly motivated engineers. Ronnie took care of the finance and secured funding rounds totaling $100 million. He joined the Marketing Department and was also responsible for growth, site optimization, and customer success.
All these five professionals' expertise and knowledge resulted in a unique platform. In this one place, homeowners can find over 1.5 million professionals presented with photos and prices of similar projects.
Porch's Expansion in Other Businesses
Throughout the years, Porch became a vertical software platform, providing CRM solutions to other companies that are in the home buying business. When Moving Concierge products and services were launched, it helped homeowners tackle the entire moving process and all the items on to-do lists.
Porch acquired Inspection Support Network in 2017 and became a leader in providing software for home inspectors. Line extensions continued with expansion in insurance and security.
In 2018 HireAHelper was acquired, a CRM tool for moving companies and expansion of full-service offer into moving. And a year later, Kandela became the latest addition to the team.
But the acquisitions didn’t stop there – iRoofing, V12, Rynoh, and Warranty Services are some that followed.
Porch Group Inc. has raised a total of $315.8 million in 11 rounds so far. The latest funding was from Post-IPO Equity in 2022. Behind the Porch company stay 24 inventors, where Wellington Management and Runway Growth Capital are the most recent ones. All in all, Porch has acquired 12 corporations – Floify being the most recent (2021).
After 8 years of successful work, in November 2019, Porch announced a merger with PropTech Acquisition Corporation. The deal ended with $523 million. The focus was to search for companies that provide technological innovation in the real estate industry.
Porch Group’s Stock Market Debut
In 2020, Porch opened its doors to the NASDAQ IPO with a valuation of around $1 billion. The money it has raised so far from the IPO amounts to $322 million.
Since 2013, Porch has significantly contributed to the $500 billion market. The estimated revenue for 2022 is $320 million, which is expected to grow 66% compared to 2021.
Porch Group Today
Today, the team of five has spread out, each to their own adventure, with only Matt and Ronnie left in the company. Matt is the CEO and Board Chairman of PorchGroup, while Ronnie Castro is Vice President.
Porch's success came so fast that only two years after its founding, Porch was acknowledged as the fastest-growing company in 2014 and the best place to work. Matt Ehrlichman was named USA TODAY's Inaugural Entrepreneur of the Year for 2014.
The future focus is on continuity in vertical software sales to new companies, embedding and expanding B2B2C transactions, profitability growth of the capital-light insurance, and leveraging proprietary data. Matt and Ronnie want to do everything possible to enhance the consumer experience and see if they can integrate past M&A-obtained businesses even better.
Simply put, these bright minds want to smooth out the process even more so that homeowners can quickly get in touch with the needed experts. Everyone wants their dream home done precisely to the smallest detail, which is what Matt and Ronnie aim to do through Porch.