Homes are always in need of repair, providing home service businesses with no shortage of opportunity. However, managing inbound requests with actually doing the work and taking payments can be difficult.
In recent years, startups have come online with technology solutions to help small home service businesses juggle all of that. Topline Pro is one of them, infusing generative AI into its platform to manage and scale businesses like general contractors and landscapers.
Nick Ornitz, co-founder and CEO, started the company with Shannon Kay to provide tools and resources so businesses like these can build an online presence via websites, social media and advertisements; gain trust by showcasing their experience through reviews and photos; and offer customers online scheduling and payment options as well as the ability to maintain long-term contact.
The home services category grew 18% in 2021 and another 10% in 2022 due to homeowners spending more time at home during the pandemic, leading more businesses catering to this market to focus on how to grow their businesses and increase discoverability, Ornitz told TechCrunch via email.
“These trends are still unfolding in 2023 and have additionally begun to feel the effects of a slowdown due to a down housing market — thanks to interest rates,” Ornitz said. “All the while, raw material prices have gone up, and so many home service business owners are focused on how to become more efficient in order to maintain margins.”
Topline is situated among an increasingly crowded space. For example, Honey Homes raised capital in June for its subscription-based handyman-on-demand service. There’s also Finli, a mobile-first payment management provider and Zuper, a provider of productivity tools for field service management and customer engagement.
In addition, Fuzey offers a “digital one-stop shop” for small businesses and independent contractors, while Puls Technologies, provides a mobile app connecting tradespeople with on-demand home repair services. All of these companies attracted venture capital in recent years.
Similarly, Topline Pro raised $5 million in 2022. At the time, the company had generated over $25 million in job requests across more than 1,000 monthly subscriber businesses in nearly all 50 states.
A year later, the company has generated over $180 million in business across thousands of businesses in nearly all 50 states. It has also continued double-digit monthly revenue growth and nearly doubled its employee base in the last year, Ornitz said.
The company also expanded its product offerings, including a social media hub where text and image-based social content could go on autopilot, while AI-generated Google Ads could be launched in less than 60 seconds. There is also an AI-enabled “Super Assistant” to help with navigating the application and further digitization of business interactions with customers.
All that growth led the company to go after new capital.
“We’ve reached an inflection point where the product is clearly resonating with pros, resulting in strong retention and ongoing success for our customers,” Ornitz said. “Based on this growth, we felt it was the right time to expand the platform and grow the team to build on this strong momentum, particularly since there is currently a lot of fantastic available talent looking for roles at growing startups.”
Today, Topline announced $12 million in new Series A capital. Forerunner Ventures led the investment along with support from Bonfire Ventures, TMV and BBG Ventures. In all, the company has raised $17 million.
The new cash infusion will enable Topline the opportunity to double the number of employees again, in the areas of engineering, product, customer success, marketing and sales from now to the end of 2023; expand on its generative AI capabilities; and continue product development.
“We will continue to focus on our mission to help the more than 5 million home service small businesses in the U.S. succeed by democratizing the key building blocks of running a home service business,” Ornitz said. “Ultimately, by operationalizing the overhead and back end, we enable pros to focus more on their craft, which is why they got into the industry in the first place. In the next year, we are racing toward our first $1 billion in job value generated for home services businesses via Topline Pro.”
By Christine Hall for TechCrunch