Launching a new series, Meet the Boss, in honor of Women’s History Month, TODAY’s Savannah Guthrie sits down with Jean Brownhill, who built the home renovation referral company Sweeten from the ground up in her own backyard, turning it into a multimillion-dollar company.
How This Low-Tech Founder Got A High-Tech Startup To House $150M In Transactions
In a market like this where it’s relatively easy to raise capital at higher valuations, it can be tempting to spend big on customer acquisition. This environment has led to recent conversations around high burn rates and the relationship between “Capital and Success.” But some startups are realizing that overspending on customer acquisition may not lead to the return they are looking for and are instead finding different, more cost-effective growth strategies.
Sweeten, A Match-Making Platform For Homeowners And Renovators, Launches Out Of Beta
We’ve seen services like Angie’s List and Red Beacon provide greater transparency around booking contractors and designers for home renovation and repair work, but that doesn’t mean there is no room for improvement in the space. Sweeten, which just launched out of beta, has already done more than $100 million worth of renovation projects through its marketplace since June. The company allows users to post their renovation, decoration, or repair job to the site and then posts that job to a handful of reviewed and qualified contractors, designers, etc.
Sweeten.com Tries to Make Home Renovation Process Less Bitter
Great Oaks Venture Capital, an early backer of real estate online listings company Trulia, now publicly traded, as well as of Houzz, a home design and decorations idea website, invested. So did Joanne Wilson, who funded Swee10 via her Gotham Gal Ventures, a fund through which she deploys her and her husband Fred Wilson’s (of Union Square Ventures ) wealth into startups. Founder Jean Brownhill Lauer’s goal for launching Sweeten.com was to demystify and speed up the home renovation process, making it simpler for both homeowners and contractors. The company started as a matchmaking service between projects and contractors. It charges contractors a fee on projects that are awarded to them. “We’ve been generating revenue from day one,” Ms. Brownhill Lauer said. For now, the service is only available in New York City. The renovation market in the city alone is worth roughly $12 billion annually, Ms. Brownhill Lauer said.