Super raises $20M to fix the home services and repairs market with its subscription service

Home owners in the US spend upwards of $300 billion annually on
home repairs and maintenance — a huge sum that often comes with
another, more hidden cost: the stress of finding reliable
tradespeople, managing those jobs, and (in the worst-case scenario)
picking up the pieces if things go wrong.

Now, a startup called Super has built what it believes
is a “fix” for that problem: a subscription service for
maintenance and repair services for your property. Today, it’s
announcing a Series B of $20 million to continue scaling that
business across the US after growing its business 400 percent each
year for the past two years.

The funding is being led by Aquiline Technology Growth (ATG),
with participation Munich Re Ventures, Liberty Mutual from the
insurance industry, Moderne Ventures, Joe Lonsdale’s firm 8VC,
the Qatar Investment Authority and Solon Mack Capital. It’s an
impressive mix, as it underscores Super’s traction and
credibility among those close to its field: Munich Re Ventures and
Liberty Mutual are insurance powerhouses; Aquiline and Moderne
focus on insurance and real estate startups, QIA has extensive
investments in the construction sector, and Solon Mack is
the family office of the Mack real estate entrepreneurs.

Jorey Ramer, the founder and CEO of Super, said he came up with
the idea for Super after he sold his previous company, Jumptap —
an advertising network acquired by Millennial Media (which is now
part of Verizon by way of its acquisition of AOL, just like
TechCrunch). Having been an apartment renter and dweller for all of
his adult life, he found himself buying property when he moved to
the Bay Area, and it came with more than a little reluctance
because of the headache of taking care of his new home.

“I liked being a renter,” he said in an interview. “You
pay a fee, and you know what to expect.” (Indeed, “Super” is
double word play meaning “great” but also the nickname for the
superintendent that often handles the maintenance and repair in an
apartment building.)

Looking at the state of the market, he said he wasn’t very
happy with the services that were already out there offering to
provide maintenance and care, which he found were too entrenched in
their old way of doing things (something that I’d agree with from
personal experience as a homeowner in England, by the way).

“These companies have prioritized costs over service,” he
said. “Yes, they have built service provider networks, but they
are not service providers that you would invite into your own home
if you were finding them directly. The whole system creates
incentives to do the least amount of work possible, or upsell work
that you just don’t need. They are deeply ingrained systems that
needed to be reinvented from scratch.”

And that is what Super is aiming to do. Right now, the company
provides links through to vetted providers of repair and
maintenance services that are priced in tiers of $20,
$60 or $90 per month depending on levels of service (for example:
appliance, home, premium home; breakdown coverage; expanded
coverage, and so on). Today there is a $75 copay on all repairs and
other work, but as the company continues to hone its business model
and relationships with suppliers — including those who might sell
its service to home owners such as the companies selling the actual
homes — that is likely to change.

“The long term vision,” Ramer said, “is eventually to
cover 100 percent of your repair and maintenance in your home. You
will never have to pay for anything because everything will be
included in the subscription.”

Super is touching on an emerging but very interesting point
here. Just as companies like Uber and Lyft have helped change the
conversation about the future of transportation services, companies
like Opendoor are changing the dynamics and conventions around how
people buy and sell — and potentially own — homes. That’s
presenting a big opportunity to rethink every stage of that
process, bringing in new players like Super, and old players like
Angie’s List that are now taking new approaches; to also
reconsider not just what they offer to the market, but what
channels they use to find customers. (It’s an area that Amazon,
unsurprisingly, is
also eyeing up
, since the home is the ultimate platform for
just about everything else it offers to the market in terms of
products and services.)

Ramer said that while Super today is primarily selling directly
to homeowners, there are many options open in the future for how
its service might be bundled with others, be they buying the
property, or buying insurance, or even buying the white goods and
other things that will eventually fill those homes.

“Super has developed an effective, convenient platform to
provide premium care and repair services for homeowners,” said
Max Chee of ATG in a statement. “Super is tackling an industry
that is ripe for innovation with a smart, technology-forward
approach, and we are excited to work with Jorey and the rest of the
team at Super to help continue that exciting trajectory.”

Source: FS – All Tech News 2
Super raises M to fix the home services and repairs market with its subscription service