Like many “dealers,” home service professionals must strike a balance between getting the job done while managing a business. Topline Pro wanted to take some of that burden off the shoulders of professionals so they could focus on the client.
New York-based Topline Pro, formerly ProPhone, does this by leveraging evolving artificial intelligence to provide a way for these businesses to be discovered, building trust among customers. customers and generate repeat customers.
The theme creates a custom website with search engine optimization that can be up and running within days. It showcases the business of the pro, including collecting online reviews, scheduling reservations, and accepting payments. Meanwhile, AI generates additional content, including local listings, and automates social media content.
Nick Ornitz, co-founder and CEO, founded the company with Shannon Kay after meeting in business school. The inspiration for Topline Pro came from the Ornitz brothers and sisters, who are among the 5 million people who run service-based companies, from landscaping to painting to general cleaning and contracting. When talking to them and the home improvement retailers he had worked with before, he and Kay realized how much these businesses were relying on paper and pen.
Ornitz tells TechCrunch: “When you talk to a landlord, they feel let down or frustrated by the experience, and when you talk to the business owner, they are trying their best to get the job done, but also run the business. “That seems like a really big opportunity.”
Their original idea, then called ProPhone, connected plumbers with homeowners over video chat. The co-founders even used Y Combinator as part of the Winter 2021 batch. While driving the business, many of ProPhone’s plumber customers say they enjoy video calls, but they don’t. need more jobs and they don’t know how to grow their business other than word of mouth.
That’s when Ornitz and Kay switched to Topline Pro. They launched their current subscription product, starting at $75 per month, in January 2022. In 10 months, the company generated more than $25 million in job claims across 1,000+ registered businesses. monthly subscriptions in nearly 50 states, Ornitz said.
Topline is not alone in helping professionals digitally manage their businesses. In fact, this is becoming a hot area for startups and investors to flock to. For example, in July, FinliThe company that developed a mobile-first payment management system for businesses, raised $6 million.
This early year, Zuper, a provider of productivity tools for field service management and customer engagement, has raised $13 million. Before, Fuzey raised $4.5 million in seed funding for a “one-stop digital store” for small businesses and independent contractors, while Puls Technologies raised $15 million for a mobile app that connects merchants with on-demand home repair services.
Ornitz says his company is different on a few points, it is using GPT-3 to automate unlimited multisite websites and administrative tasks. It is also not a marketplace and so its customers can be discovered directly by the host on the network so they can own relationships without that middle layer.
Meanwhile, today Topline Pro announced $5 million in seed funding, led by Bonfire Ventures, and including TMV, BBG Ventures and a group of angel investors, like Squire co-founder Songe LaRon .
Plans for new funding include developing additional applications for artificial intelligence; for example, apps that help professionals update their content, blog and SEO, and help professionals with their marketing. Ornitz is also expected to add 12 employees to the company in the areas of engineering, product and customer success.
“We want to make sure that pro players are being discovered by as many people as possible,” he added. “Once you get it professional, we want to make sure the host has an easier process to book with them and also pay with them. We know that word of mouth is still the most powerful form of marketing, and we want to strengthen that.”