Roofr, the Y Combinator-backed startup has recently raised $3 million in new seed funding in order to make roofing in Calgary and across North America more transparent, both for clients and contractors.
The startup utilizes aerial imaging in order to give customers quick estimates online, as well as connecting them with local roofing contractors in their immediate area. The seed round was led by Crosslink Capital, with Roofr’s total funding going up to $4 million.
Founder and CEO of Roofr, Richard Nelson, spoke on the matter, saying that the traditional industry model for roofing in Calgary and across North America is very much in need of disruption. The Toronto-native is intimately familiar with the industry, as he hailed from long-line of roofers and decided to start the company following his experience working in the industry.
Nelson says that he took a job with one of the largest commercial roofing contractors in Toronto, and he noticed there were a lot of issues, but, when he became a part of one of the bigger companies, he noticed just how archaic the industry is.
He says that the traditional model lets large commercial roofing contractors to act as marketing companies, who then hire subcontractors to handle their work, adding around 50%, at times, to the subcontractors’ labor rates just so they can be that middleman.
It was then he decided to go to the startup route after selling his house, and quitting his job. He later met co-founder Kevin Redman, and started Roofr with door-to-door pitches about Roofr’s online aerial imaging-enabled quoting tool. Then they applied to the Y Combinator and 500 Startups accelerator programs in San Francisco.
Now, Roofr works with local residential and commercial roofing businesses across the Bay Area, Canada, Ontario, and Florida. Customers in those regions can go to Roofr’s site, then fill out a questionnaire with their address, in order to get an aerial image and algorithm-based estimate for a local contractor, which Roofr claims is accurate within 10%. The company then assigns a local in-house roofing expert to act as a consultant who talks with the client before a contractor gets assigned.
Roofr usually connects its clients with just one contractor, which they vet prior to having them be a part in Roofr’s program. They’ll then send a contractor for a final inspection and quote; businesses aren’t required to use Roofr’s price, and only pay Roofr’s fee if they actually take on the project.
Roofr works with clients in both the commercial and residential sectors, and are hoping to use their newest funding to grow the team and expand into Texas.