Home automation systems like Nest or Notion look at your house and see a collection of appliances. Startup HomeZada looks at your house and sees a jumble of information — and it’s just scored $2.1 million to clean it up.
“You buy a car, and it can talk to you,” CEO and co-founder John Bodrozic pointed out to VentureBeat. “Buy a house, and nothing talks to you.”
The company, based outside Sacramento, Calif., offers a cloud-based home information platform where your house can remind you about your furnace’s next maintenance date, nag you into taking insurance photos of your most valuable possessions, and help you budget and plan a kitchen remodeling.
Although a house is the largest asset for most people, Bodrozic said, the vast majority “don’t have a home inventory [and] are underinsured.” HomeZada’s research indicates most people keep their house-related information in an archipelago of file folders in drawers, envelopes in boxes, Excel or Word files, and bank vaults.
This is more than just informational disorder. It can mean dollars lost for homeowners if they can’t quickly find the data they need for an insurance claim, an appliance maintenance fix, or a mortgage refinancing.
HomeZada intends to act as more than simply one big folder. The kitchen remodeling module, for instance, offers four dozen budget templates, with information on items that homeowners typically need to consider when redoing that essential room, such as backsplash tiles.
The company’s software can install a button in your browser’s top bar for helping with research. Clicking on it when you’ve found the right refrigerator on an appliance site, for example, will capture the URL and the largest picture on that page and copy it to a working list for your kitchen-in-progress. And a financial dashboard helps track the last house appraisal and ongoing tax information.
But if you begin using HomeZada, you may need to keep using it, since the platform only allows exporting of the home inventory as an Excel file. All other data remains within the application. Bodrozic told us that “the primary thing customers want backed up is their inventory.”
The home inventory component of HomeZada is free. Other tools — including home maintenance, the ability to track multiple houses, home improvement projects, and the financial dashboard — will be available for an annual fee of $59.
Founded in 2011, the company was initially bootstrapped until this seed round, funded by Moneta Ventures and angel investors. Bodrozic said the new money is being used for building the brand, marketing for customer acquisition, and further development of the platform toward a “home owner life cycle.”
This means that, instead of the current focus on owning a home, the platform will evolve to accommodate the different informational needs in the cycle of home ownership — including, at some point, selling the current one and buying another one.
HomeZada isn’t the only company that looks at a home and sees unorganized data. Bodrozic pointed to other companies that provide home inventory software, like DocuHome, Allstate Insurance for its policy holders, and Lowe’s My Lowe’s app for tracking items bought at the store.
“I haven’t seen [anything else] that combines home improvement, home maintenance, and inventory into a single app,” he told us.