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.
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.