Press release - Chicago, IL, USA - March 17, 2015
The National Association of Realtors®' strategic investment arm, Second Century Ventures, has selected Pro.com as the first company accepted into the 2015 class of REach, its growth technology accelerator program. Pro.com is a new home services marketplace that enables real estate agents to help home owners successfully price out home projects by matching them with a certified "Pro" in their area to get the job done.
The REach program provides a catalyst for innovative technology companies, such as Pro.com, to launch into trillion-dollar industries including real estate, insurance, mortgage and financial services. It differs from other accelerator programs in that participants are more established than the average start-up. Led by founder and CEO Matt Williams and his team of former Amazon executives, Pro.com has already helped over 100,000 customers with home projects, spanning 25 percent of U.S. zip codes across the country, representing a total value of $250 million in home services.
Williams is an experienced entrepreneur, most recently spending time as Entrepreneur in Residence at Andreessen Horowitz. Prior to that, Williams led the complete overhaul of social news aggregator Digg as its CEO. He sold his first startup, Livebid, to Amazon and later spent over a decade at the company leading various e-commerce divisions. Pro.com has raised a total of $17.5 million from investors including Maveron, Madrona Venture Group, Redpoint Ventures and Andreessen Horowitz.
"Real Estate agents and homeowners alike use Pro.com to price home projects and quickly find the best pro to get the job done," said Williams. "It's an honor to be accepted into this year's REach accelerator program – the knowledge, resources and support will be invaluable to us as we grow."
This year marks the third class of the REach program, which annually offers six to 10 organizations the opportunity to connect with NAR's 1 million members, including some of the most highly regarded executives, digital entrepreneurs and practitioners in the industry.
"Pro.com is ideally poised to take full advantage of the REach program, as they and all participants will benefit significantly from access to real estate leaders - from education to mentorship to market exposure," said NAR President Chris Polychron, executive broker with 1st Choice Realty in Hot Springs, Ark. "While Pro.com is applicable to so many individuals, it hits on a sweet spot in the real estate space, as in this day and age, Realtors® are going well beyond the transaction and often times act as an advisor to homebuyers and sellers, who turn to Realtors® when making improvements to their homes."
REach has a very successful track record – past participants have on average doubled their customer bases during the program and have gone on to raise more than $34 million in financing. Participants have been funded by well-known venture funds including SoftBank Capital, Intel Capital, Javelin and 500 Startups. Graduates of the program include Updater, BombBomb, SmartZip, WeVideo and SendHub (also a Y-Combinator graduate).
The accelerator will continue to accept applications on its web site through March 19, 2015. REach® seeks primarily SaaS-based companies with applicability in real estate, financial services, banking, home services and/or insurance markets. Learn more at www.narreach.com.