Big Data for Big Renovations: A Conversation with BuildZoom

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On Monday, BuildZoom announced it has raised $2.2 million. With the latest round of infusion, we asked the Co-Founder, Jiyan Wei, where the company is headed next.

“Our goal is to bring transparency to consumers who are shopping for a home improvement contractors. There is a knowledge gap that exists in hiring contractors. We want to bring transparency to pricing and duration of the project — we have the data.”

The Buildzoom platform is designed to help consumers look for home improvement contract work by matching them with the best-fitting professionals for the job. Buildzoom takes a far different approach than just relying on relying on customer reviews and other info. Buildzoom applies a Big Data method and analyzes more than 50 million construction permits, 3 million contractor profiles, and other third party data sources. The company’s Big Data approach is based on assorted information from state licensing boards and Better Business Bureaus; crowd sourcing via social media sites; insurance and bonding status; and self-provided information. A five star rating is just one piece of the puzzle — mitigating the risk of infrequent ratings.

“What distinguishes us from an Angie’s list is our unique focus on the regulated marketplace,” Jiyan Wei said. Buildzoom has created a two-sided marketplace — one for customers to get recommendations on contractors and the other for home improvement service providers to be listed for prospective projects.

The company will use its funds for hiring and growth. BuildZoom was founded in 2012 by Jiyan Wei and David Petersen and is based in San Francisco. The company previously raised a first seed round of $1.4 million.

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