Boston-based Dispatch has raised $12 million in funding to help small business owners streamline aspects of installations, maintenance, and repairs when communicating with customers. In other words, Dispatch allows people to schedule home improvement appointments, track their technicians, and easily contact someone for help if needed.
Today, the company announced the completion of its Series A funding round with investors including ServiceMaster, GrandBanks Capital, and Salesforce Ventures.
Dispatch is one player in a very crowded market. The home services industry is notorious for attracting a slew of startups trying to leverage the “Uber for X” model. In 2016, CB Insights published data showing more than 60 on-demand home service startups all aiming to provide on-demand house cleaning, storage, lawn care, and home repairs. In total, they had raised more than $1.5 billion in venture funding.
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In similar vein, founder and CEO Avi Goldberg says he also conceived of Dispatch as a direct-to-consumer business for the home services industry. “First we have a supreme appreciation for ‘Uberfying things,’ and our mission is to help companies apply the concept of ‘on-demand’ to as many things in life as possible,” he said in a 2014 LinkedIn post.
He quickly learned that the model struggled to provide homeowners with a quality customer experience. So instead of being a brand that stood between the homeowner and the enterprise, he decided to pivot and turn Dispatch into a platform instead. This means that Dispatch is the operating system being used by dozens of enterprises, including ServiceMaster.
ServiceMaster, which led the company’s Series A round, owns pest control company Terminix and home warranty firm American Home Shield. To make money, Dispatch charges its partners a transaction fee per job completed on the platform.
“If you’re a homeowner and you’re a subscriber to Terminix, you wouldn't know that Dispatch exists,” Goldberg told Fortune on Wednesday. “And that’s the point - we are the operating system behind the experience.”