Topline Pro grabs $5M to help home service businesses scale online • TechCrunch
Like many “solo entrepreneurs,” home service professionals have to balance doing work and running the business as well. Topline Pro He wants to take some of that burden off the professionals so they can focus on the clients.
New York-based Topline Pro, formerly ProPhone, does this by leveraging generative artificial intelligence to provide a way to discover these companies, build trust among customers and generate repeat customers.
The interface creates a customized site with SEO that can be launched on the same day. Shows the professional’s work, including collecting online reviews, scheduling reservations, and accepting payments. Meanwhile, AI creates additional content, including local listings and automation of social media content.
Nick Ornitz, co-founder and CEO, started the company with Shannon Kay after a meeting at business school. The inspiration for Topline Pro came from the Ornitz siblings who are among the 5 million people who run service-based businesses, from landscaping to painting to cleaning and general contracting. By talking to them and the home improvement retailers he’d worked with previously, he and Kay realized just how reliant these companies are on pen and paper.
“When you talk to a homeowner, they are disappointed or frustrated with the experience and when you talk to the employer, they are trying their best to do the work, but also running the company,” Ornitz told TechCrunch. “This just seemed like a really big opportunity.”
It was their initial idea, then called ProPhone, that connected plumbers with homeowners via video chat. The co-founders even passed on Y Combinator as part of their Winter 2021 batch. However, while accelerating the business, many ProPhone plumber customers were saying they loved video calls, but needed more functionality and didn’t know how to grow their business beyond word of mouth.
That’s when Ornitz and Kay switched to Topline Pro. They launched their current subscription product, which starts at $75 a month, in January of 2022. In 10 months, the company has generated more than $25 million in job orders across more than 1,000 monthly subscription companies in nearly all 50 states, Ornitz said.
Topline is not alone in helping professionals run their businesses digitally. In fact, this has become a hot field for startups to play in and for investors. For example, in July, finlaywhich developed a mobile payment management system for businesses, raised $6 million.
earlier this year, zoberInc., a company that provides productivity tools for field service management and customer engagement, raised $13 million. Before that, Fawzy It raised $4.5 million in seed funding for its “one-stop shop” for small businesses and independent contractors, while pulse techniques It raised $15 million for its mobile app that connects merchants with on-demand home repair services.
Ornitz says his company is different in a few ways, using GPT-3 to automate multi-page websites and unlimited administrative tasks. It is also not a market and therefore its customers can be discovered directly by online homeowners so that they can have relationships without that middle class.
Meanwhile, Topline Pro today announced $5 million in seed funding, led by Bonfire Ventures, including TMV, BBG Ventures, and a group of angel investors, such as Squire co-founder Songe LaRon.
The plans for the new capital include developing additional applications for generative artificial intelligence; For example, apps that help professionals with SEO, content updates, and blogging as well as helping professionals with marketing. Ornitz also expects to add to the company’s 12 employees in the areas of engineering, product and customer success.
“We want to make sure that professionals are discovered by as many people as possible,” he added. “Once we find this professional, we want to make sure the homeowner has an easier process to book with and pay with them as well. We know word of mouth is still the most powerful form of marketing, and we want to increase that.”