Less than a year after launching nationally, home improvement data startup Porch has grown 10-fold to more than 200 people —including a new CTO, hired from Amazon — and is expanding its headquarters by more than 50 percent, requiring some home improvement of its own.
“We’ll be knocking down a couple of walls and giving our team a bit of breathing room,” said Porch CEO Matt Ehrlichman, discussing the company’s decision to expand into an additional 11,000-square-foot space adjacent to its existing 17,000-square-feet at its headquarters in Seattle’s Eastlake neighborhood.
The new hires include Jay Allen, who started as Porch’s chief technical officer this week after working as Amazon’s Director of Local Consumer Technologies for the past year. Allen is a veteran of Microsoft and Zynga who co-founded Seattle-area software development startup Ohloh Corp. and worked as Geeknet’s vice president of engineering following its acquisition of Ohloh.
Allen said he was attracted to Porch by factors including its leadership team, the ability to disrupt a traditional market, and “the opportunity to build a long-term, name-brand company in Seattle.”
The company is aiming to significantly increase the size of its engineering team with Allen now on board, no easy task in a competitive market for technical talent. Allen says he expects to maintain a “a very can-do, hacker culture” with open processes and “a world-class engineering environment that can stand up and lead the way not only in Seattle but beyond.”
Porch has amassed large amounts of data about home improvement projects across the country, — including project costs —allowing homeowners to see details about projects in their neighborhoods, and connect with remodelers and contractors. Porch offers its service for free to homeowners, charging pros for market insights and promotional exposure in specific geographies.
The company has been growing rapidly thanks in part to partnerships with Lowe’s home improvement stores and Realtor.com, the official site of the National Association of Realtors. Based on past public announcements, Porch has raised at least $14 million from a wide variety of investors. The company recently added former Market Leader CEO Ian Morris to its board.