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The CEO of the startup says it is possible to enjoy your home like a renter
Aiming to make homeowning hassle-free and maintenance costs transparent, one startup has created a platform which provides local quality home care and repair services on a subscription-based model.
Today, the four-year-old startup, called Super, announced its Series B funding of $20 million – money it will use to expand geographically, improve its tech, and hire staff across all departments. The round was led by Aquiline Technology Growth, with participation from Liberty Mutual, 8VC, and Moderne Ventures.
“So far in 2019, we are growing faster than we expected,” Super’s co-founder and Chief Executive Officer, Jorey Ramer, told VatorNews, and “the number one priority for the business today is investing in people and product to support the growth.”
Since closing its Series A two year prior, Super’s subscriber base has soared more than 400 percent year-over-year. Ramer said, this year will be no different, as the company plans to expand out of its current locations - Austin, Chicago, Dallas, Houston, Phoenix, San Antonio and Washington, DC metro.
Max Chee of Aquiline, said in a statement today, “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.”
Having previously founded Jumptap, a mobile ad network acquired in 2013 by Millennial Media, for about $225 million in stock, Ramer delved into the problems of homeowning after purchasing his home. He said the idea, the “aha moment” behind his new startup, was: “You should enjoy your home. Enjoy your equity. Without the hassle of homeownership.”
With a vision to help homeowners “own like a renter, by insuring more of the risks associated with owning a home,” Ramer created a platform that covers repair costs and provides a concierge service to manage the logistics of many home service needs.
In an interview with VatorNews, Ramer shared the specifics of the solution he believes will help homeowners live hassle-free.
VatorNews: Who is Super’s target user?
Jorey Ramer: We have homes valued less than $200,000 as well as over $4 million, so our target users are homeowners who don’t want to have to deal with the stress, hassle and unexpected costs of home care and repair.
VN: Who are your competitors and how is your startup different from other care and repair service providers?
JR: There are two sides of the competitive landscape. On one side, you have the home warranty industry that has been covering the costs of breakdowns for the past 40 years. It's a great financial value proposition, but it has been poorly delivered. It's the most complained about home service category for over a decade.
On the other side, you have two decades of online and mobile companies trying to make homeownership easier, none of which give me the experience that I'm looking for, that renter like experience.
VN: What was the biggest challenge the company had to overcome to get to where you are today?
JR: Our top priority was achieving the top line growth metrics that we knew Series B investors would seek.
When we closed Series A, we had tested a variety of different customer acquisition tactics, but it was not yet clear where we should place our bets because the tests we had run were of limited scale. We ultimately bet the business on what might seem obvious in hindsight but was not obvious at the time: the real estate channel. This channel drives 75 percent of sales for incumbent breakdown coverage companies, but it was unclear if we could successfully break through relationships with real estate brokerages that had been developed by incumbents over decades.
Ultimately, we found that there was so much frustration with the outdated incumbents that we were able to win deals with very large brokerages, including regional players that rank as high as top twenty nationwide.
VN: What’s the pricing like?
JR: With Super, you get a subscription service that provides care and repair of your home.
We pay to repair or replace systems and appliances in your home when they break. We include a variety of maintenance services in the subscription. And you have a team of people working on your behalf to coordinate high-quality services at a fair rate for home care needs.
Specific pricing plans can be found here: https://www.hellosuper.com/pricing
VN: How do you plan to use the proceeds of this fundraising?
JR: We are growing our staff in every part of the business: sales, marketing, engineering, operations. We are focused on our current geographies today, but we anticipate adding additional geographies in the near future.
VN: What are some cultural or technological tailwinds that propelled the startup’s progress?
JR: There’s obviously no doubt that consumers today expect high-quality service at the touch of a button from their mobile phone. But if there’s one theme you’ll notice throughout the investors above: it’s a focus on InsureTech, where there is currently a large amount of activity by venture capitalists. We certainly insure risk, but we exist not simply to insure risk.
Our objective is to provide a subscription-based, transformational homeownership experience, one that makes caring for a home 100-percent carefree.
Homeownership is painful not only because of the inconveniences but also because of the financial stresses. Our solution addresses both, but the most stressful events are the unexpected, expensive breakdowns that were never budgeted.
VN: Please share some of the company’s long-term plans. Where do you see the company in five years?
JR: Our vision is to provide one subscription that covers 100 percent of all your repair and maintenance for the home.
Imagine never paying for service again because it’s all included in your subscription. We cover many things today, but we are working every day to expand what’s included in the subscription until we eventually achieve this ultimate vision.
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Super is a San Francisco-based technology company that offers subscription services providing care and repair for your home. Backed by leading investors, Super was founded in 2015 by Jorey Ramer, Bill Davis, and Ryan Donnelly. Super is committed to providing premium service quality for all homeowners. We partner with the best local servicers to deliver quick and effective home repair and maintenance at a predictable cost, using technology to take the hassle out of homeownership.