SmartReno is changing the way homeowners search for contractors for their home improvement projects. The service allows people to describe their project in one place, then receive within 24 hours, and completely free of charge, several contractors who are best qualified and available to quote and execute their project. This matching is optimized through a real-time, multi-variable algorithm developed in-house, which identifies the best local contractors for a given project.
Following the acquisition of its main competitor last year, SmartReno expects to receive about 70,000 project requests in 2016, for an aggregate value of $300M. SmartReno maintains an exclusive network of about 5,000 contractors, in which only those who offer superior performance stay.
Who started the company? Do you / team members have tech background?
Andrei Uglar is the Founder & CEO, and launched the company in April 2012. Andrei has a finance background, and also launched and operated Weblocal.ca, the online local directory division of TC Media.
How are you being financed?
SmartReno is financed by Anges Quebec Capital as well as 4 prominent angel investors : Pierre Fleurent, Martin-Luc Archambault, Daniel Robichaud, Mike Cegelski. The company raised about $3m to date in 3 different rounds.
What do you think will be / is a big obstacle to overcome?
People are more and more getting the habit of using the Internet to find local services. We believe that there is still an education aspect to our service, but are seeing increasing number of people using the internet to find contractors, which typically is a old-school industry.
How do you go about finding good developers / IT guys for your company?
Word-of-mouth and making sure the company is growing and offers a great culture to attract talented developers that want to be an active part of creating the next big thing.
Who is your biggest competition?
The typical paper and online directories, but SmartReno offers a much better and simpler customer experience, by pre-filtering and making sure we only refer trusted and vetted contractors.
How are you intending on taking your company to million dollars in revenues? In what markets?
We are already doing much more than a million in revenues 😉 We have an aggressive plan to grow revenues and consolidate our existing position of leader in Canada in our segment.
What is the big lesson you've learned (success or failure) with this project.
Offering a simple and efficient user experience is the key. When people like their experience with the product and the service, they will come back and refer the service to their friends.