Pro.com, the Seattle startup that’s looking to make it easier to find home improvement specialists, from plumbers and electricians to roofers and landscapers, has attracted $14 million in fresh funding from Seattle venture capital firms Madrona Venture Group and Maveron. The funding follows a $3.5 million round that Pro.com announced in May, which included participation from Amazon.com founder Jeff Bezos, Sherpa Ventures and Andreessen Horowitz.
Pro.com is led by Matt Williams, the former Digg CEO who sold the Seattle startup LiveBid to Amazon.com in 1999. He then worked at Amazon.com in a number of roles.
The online marketplace emerged earlier this year in Seattle’s South Lake Union neighborhood, touting a new way for home owners to find home improvement professionals over the Web. Today, the company said that over $140 million worth of home improvement projects have flowed through the site in the past few months.
“We’ve seen a really positive response to Pro.com since our launch in May, and this funding round is an excellent opportunity to build on that momentum,” said Williams in a statement. “Maveron and Madrona Venture Group are firms rooted locally in Seattle that both have tremendous consumer product experience – we are truly honored to have both of them leading the round.”
Maveron and Madrona are two of Seattle’s leading venture capital firms, having previously worked together on Decide.com. But the investment in Pro.com marks the largest investment they’ve made together to date. Dan Levitan of Maveron and Scott Jacobson of Madrona are joining the company’s board.
The crew behind Pro.com does face some hefty competition. Last month, San Francisco-based Thumbtack raised $100 million from Google Ventures and others, while Handy.com of New York raised $30 million in June.
Pro.com also faces competition in its backyard. Seattle-based Porch.com also is creating a marketplace for home improvement projects, inking a partnership and investment with Lowe’s and confirming $33 million in venture funding earlier this month.
Amazon.com also has been sniffing around the services arena, so Bezos’ involvement in Pro.com is notable. Meanwhile, Brad Stone at Bloomberg BusinessWeek draws comparisons between Pro.com and Zillow, writing that both are trying to help “customers cut through pricing ambiguity in a traditionally opaque market.” Interestingly, just as Zillow offers its “Zestimate” of home values, Pro.com offers a “pre-estimate” for home projects.
In May, Williams told GeekWire that they’ve trademarked the word Prestimate and secured the domain name, noting that he does not anticipate any sort of legal problems with Zillow over the name.
Pro.com said it will use the fresh funding to continue to grow its national customer base and add more home service professionals to its marketplace.