By Ingrid Lunden
We may hear a lot about how big businesses are undergoing digital transformation, but the trend isn’t exclusively limited to them, and today a startup that’s building better productivity tools for a very offline part of the working world — home services professionals — is announcing a growth round on the heels of strong demand for its technology.
Workiz — which provides tools to home services teams to help with scheduling appointments, estimating costs, invoicing for work and more — has raised $40 million, funding that it will use to continue building out more features, and to continue expanding into more categories of home services.
The COVID-19 pandemic has been a boost to the company both in terms of bringing in new business — healthcare is one area that is on the rise, CEO Adi Azaria said in an interview — and expanding engagement with those already using the platform. Carpet cleaners, electricians, plumbers, locksmiths and other home services professionals are using more virtual services to help minimize contact in what is already a very physical business. The Tel Aviv-founded, San Diego-based company today is primarily focused on the North American market, where it has 100,000 users, who in turn have a combined customer base of a whopping 17 million end users.
The funding, a Series C, is being led by Lead Edge Capital — a major growth investor that has backed the likes of Alibaba, Spotify, Asana and Toast in the past. Other backers in this round are not being disclosed, but for a point of reference, when Workiz raised its Series B (only in February this year) its investors included New Era Capital Partners, Aleph, Magenta Venture Partners, Maor Investments and TMT Investments.
Azaria would not disclose Workiz’s valuation, except to hint that it went up five-fold since the Series B. That Series B was at a $40.7 million valuation, according to PitchBook data, which means the company is now at $200 million. This should not be too much of a surprise, given that Azaria said that the company grew over 200% in its core market in the last 24 months, with net retention rates of 180%. “We were proactively approached for this round, and it was closed in two weeks,” he added.
One area where Workiz is bringing in more technology from the world of enterprise IT is automation. The company is building more tools for workers to be able to create their own workflows, where they can “set and forget” different actions around, say, invoicing and subsequently chasing those invoices; or setting up appointments automatically based on the clients’ and the pros’ availabilities. This, Azaria said, feeds directly into one of the bigger pain points in the home services industry: staff shortages and the challenges of human capital in general in this area.
“The most challenging part of this job is bringing on more working hands (more technicians), training them and so on,” he said. “Salaries have gone very high, and in some cases our customers just haven’t found good people. So we are helping them with automation, to help them reduce the amount of tedious work they have, to allow them to focus on the actual work rather than the back office.
“Getting back to a client is the most important thing, but they often don’t,” he continued. “It always happens, and they lose those jobs. So we built a way to reply automatically, a bit like Calendly but for service teams.” Workiz has already built about 100 automation templates, he said, and will be adding more. Typically, those adopting these automations are using as many as 10 already.
“We are thrilled to be partnering with Workiz given the tremendous market opportunity and the unique platform that incorporates powerful automation software with phone systems and payment processing,” said Avery Rosin of Lead Edge Capital, in a statement. “The company’s rapidly growing roster of customers is a testament to the advantage that Workiz provides to any home service team, and we are excited for the next high growth chapters as the company delivers its innovative products across the service management industry.”