Moderne takes a look back at some of the most memorable moments from the first Passport Class of 2019, giving a look inside the ins and outs of the Moderne Ventures Passport Program.
Ingrid Lunden, Tech Crunch
Home owners in the US spend upwards of $300 billion annually on home repairs and maintenance — a huge sum that often comes with another, more hidden cost: the stress of finding reliable tradespeople, managing those jobs, and (in the worst-case scenario) picking up the pieces if things go wrong.
Now, a startup called Super has built what it believes is a “fix” for that problem: a subscription service for maintenance and repair services for your property. Today, it’s announcing a Series B of $20 million to continue scaling that business across the US after growing its business 400 percent each year for the past two years.
The funding is being led by Aquiline Technology Growth (ATG), with participation Munich Re Ventures, Liberty Mutual from the insurance industry, Moderne Ventures, Joe Lonsdale’s firm 8VC, the Qatar Investment Authority and Solon Mack Capital. It’s an impressive mix, as it underscores Super’s traction and credibility among those close to its field: Munich Re Ventures and Liberty Mutual are insurance powerhouses; Aquiline and Moderne focus on insurance and real estate startups, QIA has extensive investments in the construction sector, and Solon Mack is the family office of the Mack real estate entrepreneurs.
Jorey Ramer, the founder and CEO of Super, said he came up with the idea for Super after he sold his previous company, Jumptap — an advertising network acquired by Millennial Media (which is now part of Verizon by way of its acquisition of AOL, just like TechCrunch). Having been an apartment renter and dweller for all of his adult life, he found himself buying property when he moved to the Bay Area, and it came with more than a little reluctance because of the headache of taking care of his new home.
“I liked being a renter,” he said in an interview. “You pay a fee, and you know what to expect.” (Indeed, “Super” is double word play meaning “great” but also the nickname for the superintendent that often handles the maintenance and repair in an apartment building.)
Looking at the state of the market, he said he wasn’t very happy with the services that were already out there offering to provide maintenance and care, which he found were too entrenched in their old way of doing things (something that I’d agree with from personal experience as a homeowner in England, by the way).
“These companies have prioritized costs over service,” he said. “Yes, they have built service provider networks, but they are not service providers that you would invite into your own home if you were finding them directly. The whole system creates incentives to do the least amount of work possible, or upsell work that you just don’t need. They are deeply ingrained systems that needed to be reinvented from scratch.”
And that is what Super is aiming to do. Right now, the company provides links through to vetted providers of repair and maintenance services that are priced in tiers of $20, $60 or $90 per month depending on levels of service (for example: appliance, home, premium home; breakdown coverage; expanded coverage, and so on). Today there is a $75 copay on all repairs and other work, but as the company continues to hone its business model and relationships with suppliers — including those who might sell its service to home owners such as the companies selling the actual homes — that is likely to change.
“The long term vision,” Ramer said, “is eventually to cover 100 percent of your repair and maintenance in your home. You will never have to pay for anything because everything will be included in the subscription.”
Super is touching on an emerging but very interesting point here. Just as companies like Uber and Lyft have helped change the conversation about the future of transportation services, companies like Opendoor are changing the dynamics and conventions around how people buy and sell — and potentially own — homes. That’s presenting a big opportunity to rethink every stage of that process, bringing in new players like Super, and old players like Angie’s List that are now taking new approaches; to also reconsider not just what they offer to the market, but what channels they use to find customers. (It’s an area that Amazon, unsurprisingly, is also eyeing up, since the home is the ultimate platform for just about everything else it offers to the market in terms of products and services.)
Ramer said that while Super today is primarily selling directly to homeowners, there are many options open in the future for how its service might be bundled with others, be they buying the property, or buying insurance, or even buying the white goods and other things that will eventually fill those homes.
“Super has developed an effective, convenient platform to provide premium care and repair services for homeowners,” said Max Chee of ATG in a statement. “Super is tackling an industry that is ripe for innovation with a smart, technology-forward approach, and we are excited to work with Jorey and the rest of the team at Super to help continue that exciting trajectory.”
This article was originally published by Tech Crunch on April 17, 2019.
Moderne Ventures accepts eight new companies into its Passport program; companies address seismic shifts in real estate, finance, insurance and home services
CHICAGO, Jan. 24, 2019—Moderne Ventures, a venture investment fund, announced today the eight new companies accepted into its 2019 Moderne Passport Program, an intensive 7-month industry immersion program where companies receive strategic guidance, participate in over 100 one-on-one mentor meetings with senior executive leaders and administer pilots with corporations in the Moderne Network.
The 2019 Passport Class companies are marketplaces, services and solutions that are using technologies, like blockchain and artificial intelligence, to help progress 100+ year old industries. This class has collectively raised over $150M in funding with collective valuations north of $700M. The new companies are:
ByteGain (bytegain.com)—Los Altos, CA: Artificial Intelligence platform that increases lead quantity, quality and performance
AI platform that analyzes billions of online user behavior data points on websites and CRM systems to identify patterns in journeys enabling real-time conversion predictions, lead scoring and next best actions to close—increasing lead quantity, quality, and performance.
Eusoh (eusoh.com)—Los Angeles, CA: Spread the Love - the only community-based care plan for pets
Insurance is complicated, costly, and confusing, so we've developed a simpler, cheaper, and transparent alternative that helps loving pet owners share the cost of accidents, diseases, and preventative care within their communities. Eusoh (you-so) is different, let us prove it!
Payfully (payfully.co)—New York, NY: Get commissions paid while in contract
Transactions can take time to close, Payfully is a safe and secure way to get commission paid today with no hidden fees and same day transfers.
Porch (porch.com)—Seattle, WA: Porch gets the Job Done: home service and maintenance for residential homes and buildings
Porch is a leading home improvement marketplace and service provider, connecting homeowners and building managers who need help with a project to home professionals that can provide a full suite of services from routine maintenance tasks to large or complicated renovations.
Sagegreenlife (sagegreenlife.com)—Chicago, IL: Green living walls for greater spaces, places and life
Nature plays a vital role in creating a productive and effective environment for people. Our patented living walls enable unparalleled performances and stunning visuals to make the ecosystems of our lives—work, schools, shops, homes—a greener place.
Snappt (snappt.com)—Los Angeles, CA: Instant identity and financial verification to prevent fraud
Snappt verifies rental and mortgage applicants’ identity instantly empowering the real estate industry with revolutionary AI enabled fraud software to reduce evictions and bad debt.
StreetWire (streetwire.net)—New York, NY: A data network for faster transactions and operational efficiency
StreetWire’s network allows businesses to unlock the value of the data that they already produce. By leveraging the network, there is greater transparency between transaction stakeholders and streamlined data recording and distribution rights allowing for faster, more secure transactions at lower costs.
WattBuy (wattbuy.com)—Washington, DC: We empower residents to find the best rates and take charge of their electricity
WattBuy is an electricity marketplace for residents to compare and choose their electricity provider. Consumers have free access, which can be co-branded, to user-friendly advice that saves time, money, and the planet.
“With every Passport class, we bring in the most innovative solutions addressing our industries. We help companies understand complexities, optimize their products and services and connect partners that can benefit most from them,” said Constance Freedman, Moderne Ventures founder and managing partner. “This is one of the most interesting classes we have had yet, and we are excited to help them make an impact.”
About Moderne Ventures
Moderne Ventures invests in technology companies in and around real estate, finance, insurance. Moderne operates both a Venture Fund and the Moderne Passport, an Industry Immersion Program designed to foster innovation, partnership and growth between industry partners and new emerging technology companies. Moderne works with over 700 executives and corporations within its core industries and evaluates over 4,500 emerging tech companies each year. Its principals have invested in over 80 companies including DocuSign, Updater, August, Better, Hello Alfred, TaskEasy, Homesnap and Leaselock.
Constance Freedman Secures Spot 156
The overall 2019 SP200 ranks the most powerful leaders in the residential real estate brokerage industry as at December 31, 2018, with adjustments made only for the major leadership announcements made after that date and before this release on January 15, 2019. To rank the leaders eight (8) different criteria were reviewed and can be seen here.
These rankings (SP200) are of the leaders in our industry and is not a company ranking. Size and sales volume listed are shared for framing of the person listed. Note that 2017 numbers are used as those are the only available across the board for all companies. Most companies have not completed their 2018 financials and our official company and brokerage rankings (MEGA 1000) will be published in April/May 2019 after financial and audits have been completed.