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Local service finder and community marketplace Thumbtack, which does background checks on the people offering services, announced Monday that it has secured its first round of funding for $4 million.

Thumbtack helps connect people who need work done with those who are qualified to do it. Instead of looking in the phone book for a plumber, you can go on Thumbtack and get bids for the work you need done. Beyond home improvement, just about anyone can post their services on Thumbtack, including photographers, tutors and mechanics.

Thumbtack is sets itself apart from general posting boards like Craigslist and Angie’s List by checking up on the people who offer services on the site. Everyone on Thumbtack undergoes a sex-offender check and is reviewed to be real, not spam. Other credentials are optional, but service providers receive badges and points for undergoing criminal background checks and providing proof of licenses.

Finding a professional on Thumbtack involves posting a request for work. Within about 24 hours, you get bids from people so you can choose who you want to hire. Thumbtack plans to allow its customers to pay service providers with a credit card, to make transactions as easy as possible.

“I am thrilled that we now have the opportunity to transform even more quickly the way people everywhere buy and sell local services,” said Thumbtack CEO Marco Zappacosta in a statement, “We have learned a lot from the hundreds of thousands of consumers who have used our site over the last two years, and we can’t wait to see where this money will take us. We’ve built a strong foundation for success — but we still have a long way to go and look forward to making our vision a reality in 2012.”

With this round of funding, Thumbtack will be hiring user experience designers, software engineers and marketing employees.

This investment round was led by Javelin Venture Partners, with participation from MHS Capital, which is an investor in Venturebeat, and Tim Draper. Thumbtack was founded in 2009 and boasts a new user every minute of every day for the last six months. The company is based in San Francisco, California and employees eight people.

Bulletin board image via  Flickr user Mazeau


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