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HomeX Raises $90 Million -- What It Means For Property Investors

Apr 20, 2021 by Jeff Piltch
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Home-services startup HomeX just raised $90 million in venture financing. New Mountain Capital led the investment round.

HomeX’s platform for homeowners and service providers aims to change the way home maintenance and repair is done. What does this mean for landlords and real estate investors?

More on HomeX

At its core, HomeX primarily does two things:

  1. Pairs service workers with homeowners, both virtually and in person.
  2. Offers back-end software and services for contractors to grow their businesses and manage workflow.

The "magic" behind the HomeX platform is that it is able to diagnose, or at least narrow down, the cause of a particular issue, making it so the service provider who comes onsite can be best set up for success, bring the right tools, and work efficiently. But even before it gets to that, HomeX says that 40% of issues can actually be corrected remotely with no need for a technician to come onsite. In the case of the remaining 60%, HomeX tries to do as best it can to narrow down to the root cause of the issue.

For example, if someone calls with a leaking dishwasher, it may not be obvious to the homeowner that the cause is a broken disposal. Normally a plumber would be called and may not have an extra disposal on hand; HomeX would try to make sure that the plumber brings one through its series of questions and diagnosis.

Co-Founder and President Vincent Payen said:

We’re using machine-generated content to create solutions that are specific to a homeowner’s issues. … Using machines to understand symptoms, the questions to ask and to actually get to a diagnosis and a recommendation or resolution is where AI absolutely shines and allows us to do things that were not possible even three or five years ago.

HomeX also has a remote assistance program that connects homeowners with technicians to help resolve issues remotely. That business has shined during the pandemic, growing by 400%.

The team

The founding team has quite the impressive background. Simon Weaver, one of the company’s Co-Founders and CTO, along with a handful of other team members, was part of the team at a company called Evi. Amazon (NASDAQ: AMZN) acquired Evi in 2012 to essentially become the brain for Alexa.

Founder and CEO Michael Werner has some industry experience; his family started Werner Ladders. Werner said he realized that the industry is very fragmented and started the company because "there’s a terrible imbalance between very high demand and not enough contractors to do the work, or rather, a terrible labor shortage."

The future

Werner has a clear vision of the future for the company as well: "Similar to how telemedicine has changed how medicine is delivered, HomeX Remote Assist is going to change the service experience for taking care of your home."

As part of that future growth, HomeX plans on expanding its B2B presence. Home warranty and insurance companies have reportedly shown interest in adding in HomeX’s platform, which makes sense. Payan said, "We are using some of our capital toward a pilot program and a number of business development opportunities there."

The Millionacres bottom line

I haven’t used the HomeX platform yet, but as a former contractor and current real estate investor, I can certainly see the value on both sides. Being set up to succeed in terms of scope of work and tools is huge for contractors, while tenants always seem to call at the worst possible time with problems. HomeX’s remote service could be a winning tool to add to the maintenance and property management arsenal.

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John Mackey, CEO of Whole Foods Market, an Amazon subsidiary, is a member of The Motley Fool’s board of directors. The Motley Fool owns shares of and recommends Amazon and recommends the following options: long January 2022 $1920 calls on Amazon and short January 2022 $1940 calls on Amazon. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.