Home improvement marketplace Porch acquires HireAHelper, doubling down on moving services

Seattle startup Porch has acquired San Diego-based moving marketplace HireAHelper. It’s the second moving services company that fast-growing home improvement marketplace Porch has acquired in the past three months.

HireAHelper says its online moving marketplace helps 250,000 people move per year. Customers can compare quotes and availability of movers and book rental trucks, hourly movers or a full-service experience.

In April, Porch acquired Kandela, a Los Angeles company that sets up installation of home services like TV, internet and security systems. With these moves, Porch says it wants to be the place people go when they are thinking about a home improvement project or moving.

Porch CEO Matt Ehrlichman. (Porch Photo)

“With the addition of HireAHelper.com, we are able to serve people at all points in the housing lifecycle, from hiring the best movers for relocation to a new home, to finding the right service professional to install a window,” Porch CEO Matt Ehrlichman said in a statement. “Millions of people face the challenge of moving every year and being able to provide them with accurate information and access to reliable movers will be a huge benefit to Porch users.”

HireAHelper will remain a standalone business and keep its name, though the 75-person company could transition under the Porch umbrella later on, according to HireAHelper President Mike Glanz.

Porch grew rapidly and raised $100 million less than two years after it came out of stealth mode in 2013. But just months later, Porch reduced its headcount from 500 to 250 as the company was forced to repair the business.

Porch emerged from a two-year quiet period in April, and it has resumed its growth trajectory. The acquisition of HireAHelper brings Porch to a combined headcount of 875.

That is a major increase from the nearly 500 employees the company reported three months ago when it acquired Kandela. The growth has come mostly through hiring about 50 new customer service representatives, also known as home assistants, per month over the last four months. Today, Porch has 20 listings on its job board, including an open position for chief financial officer.

Since emerging from its quiet period 15 months ago, Porch has made three acquisitions. It has also inked a number of key partnerships with companies including Facebook, eBay, Overstock and Streem. Last year, Porch said it facilitated more than 2 million projects, totaling more than $1 billion in value.

The acquisition and emphasis on moving pits Porch against fellow Seattle startup Dolly, which raised $7.5 million in May to expand its peer-to-peer moving app nationally and internationally. However, Dolly is closer to a gig economy, Uber-esque model that connects people who want to move with Dolly independent contractors with vehicles. HireAHelper is a marketplace where people can search for and book moving companies and vehicles.

“We serve a much broader market segment than Dolly,” Glanz said. “While Dolly focuses solely on local deliveries and micro-moves with move help from individuals, HireAHelper lets you compare and book move help or a full-service move from local moving companies or even a moving container with storage for your long distance move.”

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