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Hover raises $6M to turn photos in 3D building models

The company creates a scale model, and saves contractors the time and effort of measuring a home

Financial trends and news by Steven Loeb
November 19, 2015
Short URL: http://vator.tv/n/4196

I never knew this, but when contractors are working on a house, they will measure it, and then go and create a 3D model of it, to scale in order to get a better idea of what their work will look like. The only problem is that it's a time-consuming process, and contractors have to spend valuable time measuring in-person and drafting renderings.

Hover simplifies this process by turning smartphone photos into scaled 3D building models.

The company has announced that it has raised $6 million in a Series A financing round. Alsop Louie Partners led the round with participation from existing investors, including Almaz Capital and Maverick Investments.

The additional funds comes 19 months after the company raised $5.1 million in its initial Series A, and brings its total funding to $17.3 million.

Hover has two apps. The first one is free, and it generates a scaled 3D model of a home based on eight photos submitted via a smartphone. A digital model is delivered and homeowners can begin trying on new windows, trim, paint colors and siding, giving them a realistic idea of what improvements will look like.

The second is its Pro upgrade, which is targeted toward home improvement professionals. The app gives them complete and accurate exterior measurements, and delivers them on all building materials including siding, windows, doors, brick and trim. It also allows professionals to show potential clients exactly what their home will look like when a project is complete.

"Hover generates accurate 3D models of buildings for anyone who simply takes a few photos of a building. These models are scaled, so anyone who needs detailed building dimensions benefits," A.J. Altman, Founder and Head of Product at Hover, told me.

"Today, building contractors, homeowners, and insurance professionals (and others) get measurements to do their job with a measuring tape and a ladder. Hover not only generates detailed measurements, but delivers the output in specific formats that are architecturally relevant to those users"

The company's 3D technology is based on a blend of computer vision and machine learning algorithms, which it has been developing and honing and" tailoring to these markets" for the last three years. The primary customers for Hover are exterior building contractors, design and build professionals, and building products manufacturers.

"Hover saves time and money for its customers. This can frequently mean hours per property served.  In addition, by offloading the task of measurement to Hover, professionals and homeowners free up valuable time to either provide additional services or scope/discover new possibilities," said Altman.

"Hover 3D is invaluable for any property owner.  We believe Hover data will be a catalyst for change for many property-centric industries, from home improvement, to insurance and real estate."

The company separates itself from the competition by being the only that delivers complete exterior 3D blueprints generated only from smartphone photos.  

"It is a simple, on-demand solution for anyone that needs exterior measurements generated automatically as a service.  This allows professionals to focus on their business, providing home improvement or other services, not measuring buildings to estimate or quote said services," said Altman.

The new funding will be used for scaling the company's sales and marketing teams, in order to drive growth in its primary market, Exterior Home Improvement.  

"With considerable traction in the Fall of 2015, Hover is using this additional funding to accelerate user growth in Winter/Spring 2016," Altman said.

In addition to the funding, it was also announced that Stewart Alsop, partner at Alsop Louie Partners, will join the Board of Directors at Hover.

"Hover is a team of unique individuals with diverse experiences. We are computer vision and machine learning scientists, veteran full-stack developers, graphics technology innovators, and property industry experts.  We even have a former astronaut. We’re having a blast helping our customers, and we’re just getting started!" Altman said.

Founded in 2011, Hover has thousands of customers. Since the app’s launch in August 2015, the company has signed partnerships with manufacturers representing 50 and 35 percent of the siding and replacement window markets, respectively.

Hover plays into the larger trend of home improvement/home services. The home improvement market, which is estimated to be a $300 billion, is an industry ripe for disruption, which explains why big players like are investing in the space.

Facebook recently partnered with Pro.com to allow users to find and schedule an appointment with a contractor through Facebook Messenger. Google invested in a $125 million round for Thumbtack, and Amazon launched a professional services provider in March called Amazon Home Services.


Related companies, investors and entrepreneurs

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HOVER
Startup/Business
Description: Turning smartphone photos into scaled 3D building models.
Bio: Stewart Alsop is a former pundit and writer who became a venture investor in 1996. He is an early stage investor in technology...