ValueAppeal scoops up $6M to help home owners dispute their property tax bills

Four years ago, Charlie Walsh attempted to appeal his property tax assessment, only to find that the process was painfully time consuming. With a degree in real estate development from MIT, Walsh knew there had to be a better way. So, he created ValueAppeal, a fast-growing Seattle startup that just scored $6.4 million from new and existing investors. 

To date, thousands of customers have utilized ValueAppeal’s simple service to appeal their property tax bills, saving on average $1,350 via the $99 do-it-yourself product.

“Now I actually receive Christmas cards from happy clients who had experienced the same frustration I did, or never knew they could appeal before ValueAppeal came along,” Walsh tells GeekWire. “Some have told me they save the money for their kid’s college, others went on an unexpected vacation.”

Everyone likes to save a little money on their tax bill. And because of that, ValueAppeal is growing fast, tripling revenue last year. It now employs 40 people, and with the new funds it will continue to hire staff.

Charlie Walsh

Walsh said that they will likely triple revenue again this year.

“Our customers win approximately 80 percent of their appeals compared to about a 4o percent success rate when homeowners do it on their own,” he said.

The new money will also be used to roll out a new product, which Walsh isn’t talking about at this point. It will be interesting to learn what they’ve got up their sleeves, especially since Seattle is a hotbed of innovations in online real estate from companies such as Redfin, Estately, Zillow, Imprev, Market Leader and others.

I’ve even speculated in the past that ValueAppeal might make a nice little acquisition for Zillow, which has gotten pretty acquisitive here in recent years.

Total funding in the company now stands at $9.4 million.                                                

 

  • lion of luxury

    And Others: “LuxuryRealEstate.com” – Seattle born and raised.

  • Thomas R.

    I love this company. It provides a useful service that saves customers money and lots of it. Great startup! It’s great to see real businesses with solid revenue models get funded (like SimplyMeasured). These are the startups that will survive the Series A Crunch.

  • Alice Golden

    Yeah I’m sure laying off 20 some people helped them get that 6 million.

    • Thomas R.

      Wow! Did not hear anything about this. John these are the types of things that I was mentioning you should write more about. Less PR articles, more in depth research pieces. What happened? Why? What do former employees think?, etc.

    • Jason Markham

      Startups are known to be roller coasters. They go through long, scary months (and sometimes years) where money is tight and things are scary, and then some of the good ones squeak through and finally see the good times.

      It’s great to see a company that’s actually helping people that apparently made it through the scary times.

  • Jeff Mell

    The company employed 40+ people summertime of 2012 before it *laid everyone off in order to secure more funding from investors.* I hope Mr. Walsh didn’t give that as an updated number, as it would be a lie. They are now calling people that weren’t upset or sad about being laid off and offering to give them a few months’ scratch as contractors before laying them on the chopping block again when their New Jersey customers have been helped. All class.

    • John Davidson

      You sure seem to know a lot about a company that you’re not a part of.

      • Cindy S.

        Yeah @e65825ce1a554e11098edf577b4ab96e:disqus, you’re nowhere on the “Meet Our Team” page… Seems interesting that you’d have such insider information.

        I agree with what others said — Glad to see a real company, not some social media spin off, getting some financial support behind it. If they did have to lay some people off, I’m sure that’d just solidify that it’s a normal company that has normal growing pains.

        Congrats Charlie Walsh on your funding! Good luck in the future

        • SeattleGal

          I’m on the Meet Our Team page along with everyone else that doesn’t work there anymore. Funny that our photos and our old headcount is still used for PR, while it isn’t correct.

        • BVaughn

          Everything that Jeff Mell and SeattleGal said is correct. While that’s great that ValueAppeal got their money, this story is nothing but a re-write of a ValueAppeal press release full of misinformation, from the employee count to the success rate. It’s unfortunate because there’s some value to the company (not as much as there should be or they think there is, but some) but they call everything into question by outright lying about basic facts like employee count, success rate and how much of the country they serve. Why lie about it? Just be proud of what you are instead of pretending to be more than that.

  • SeattleGal

    So now that someone has contacted you with correct information about employee count etc, are you going to maintain integrity and publish corrections?

  • the great truth

    Just to clarify. almost everyone was laid off before Christmas. Some, were spared but had to suffer a 50% cut in pay. Definitely way less than 40 employees as of today. Still no sense of motivation, teamwork or excitement. Its plain ugly. Its unfortunate that such a good idea is being miss managed. Thanks for the millions, but we would get 10x further with half as much if we had a captain who knew where he was going.

  • Mark T

    Great job ValueAppeal – I’ve been a customer twice now! The first time I didn’t win but got my money back, and the second time last year was successful! I’ll keep checking back every year!

  • Anders A

    Congrats! Awesome to see another Seattle startup making it! Best of luck! I’ll keep checking back to see if I’m paying too much in taxes :-)