Former Digg chief executive Matt Williams’ new home improvement company, Pro.com, is announcing a new partnership with home products retailer Build.com to give Build.com customers a way to find and connect with professionals to contract for the project (check out an example). Pro.com will also give you an estimate for the labor cost of the project.
Pro.com first launched in beta in mid-May in Seattle, Williams’ current home. It gives you quotes for home improvement projects, and it vets professionals through its Certified Pro service.
However, Pro.com is an e-commerce site that takes a cut from the transactions it facilitates instead of charging people to view or post listings. Moreover, it will vet the top professionals in each geographical and expertise area and spotlight them instead of listing every professional the way Yelp does.
Pro.com’s team is also made up of a lot of former Amazon employees, a likely sign that its strategy will be very focused on customer service.
But while the partnership with Build.com will help bring additional traffic to its website, a company spokesperson said that it won’t be taking an affiliate’s cut from the supplies customers purchase from Build.com for the projects Pro.com supplies a quote for.
Pro.com is part of a trend in startups that are adding a layer of technology and unified customer experience and logistics to independent professional service providers. Other companies such as Homejoy and Uber’s black car service use a similar model. They bring together disconnected professionals into one service hub and coordinate them, providing customers with a more streamlined and consistent experience as compared to having to look up several local professionals and companies.
It’ll be interesting to see what other partnerships Pro.com forms in the future. It’s easy to see the benefits of offering its streamlined service to other partners whose customers would love to save themselves from researching local professionals.
Pro.com was founded in 2013 by Matt Williams and is located in Seattle. The company has raised $3.5 million from Jeff Bezos, Andreessen Horowitz, Madrona Venture Group, Redpoint Ventures, Two Sigma Ventures, and Sherpa Foundry.