Why We Invested: InspectionGo
iGo, Repair Pricer and HomeBinder to integrate, and expand offerings for the home inspection industry
This week we are excited to introduce you to our second portfolio company: InspectionGo (aka iGo). We partnered with iGo back in early 2022 to help the company re-imagine the inspection experience for home inspectors and property buyers.
Why home inspections?
Although many other VCs may overlook the home inspection industry as being a tad sleepy, at Hamilton Ventures we view the vertical as ripe for disruption. Unlike many other workflows within residential real estate, home inspections are still dominated by manual tasks. Additionally, the industry is rapidly aging with many current home inspectors beginning to transition into retirement (average age of a home inspector is ~60 years old). These demographic pressures have led to a steadily increasing influx of young talent entering the industry. These younger inspection professionals are “digital natives,” who expect better software solutions and workflow automation.
Moreover, while there are dozens of regional and national inspection franchises, and thousands of private multi-inspector firms, no single player has more than 4% market share. Currently, there are ~16,000 home inspection firms in the US conducting over five million inspections per year. These industry dynamics indicate a large and fragmented addressable market that is on the cusp of technological disruption. Additionally, estimates for pent up demand for housing range from 1.5 million to 3.8 million homes, and The National Association of Home Builders expects this pent-up demand to be supplied through 2030. This indicates that home purchases and resales will remain strong for at least the rest of the decade, which is likely to support a healthy and active home inspection industry.
Over the next decade we expect to see further consolidation and tech adoption in the home inspection industry and iGo’s business model is uniquely positioned to capture value during this time period. Moreover, the iGo business is in direct alignment with Hamilton’s investment thesis and management possesses a bold vision for properly aligning incentives within the home inspection industry to enhance inspectors’ capabilities and build valuable experiences for homeowners.
We were intrigued by iGo specifically because the company was already serving inspection businesses in the market by facilitating hundreds of thousands of home inspections with their services offerings. This bolstered our confidence that the team knew exactly what inspectors needed and weren’t developing software that would go unused. The management team had a firm grasp on what causes many home inspection businesses to struggle: lack of optimization of business processes (e.g., accounting & scheduling) and not having the bandwidth to take full advantage of passive income streams (i.e., contractor referral fees). iGo originally solved these pain points by offering a unique blend of services including accounting, call center, and coaching / mentoring.
As investors, we viewed iGo’s list of hundreds of satisfied home inspector customers eager to adopt the company’s new software products as solid risk-mitigation. This evidence of buy-in from within the customer base was further enforced when we learned that two of the largest independent home inspection businesses in the country, Elite Inspection Group and Axium Inspections, were both users and investors.
Keystone & iGo Network drive the industry forward
Over the past couple of years, iGo has built upon their services with a suite of software solutions including a booking/scheduling tool and a referral platform. We are particularly excited about Keystone by iGo, the highly configurable and customizable software inspection booking platform that integrates with multiple listing services (MLS), automatically calculates drive times, and allows filtering to determine which inspector is most qualified for a specific job. Furthermore, the platform enables contract agreements, payment processing, and product / pricing configurations. Keystone’s robust features provide a unique value proposition for home inspection businesses to enhance their scheduling and booking efficiency and foster their growth.
The success of Keystone as the backend for inspection companies has further enhanced the iGo Network frontend platform for real estate companies seeking inspection services. iGo Network leverages iGo’s tech and real estate connections, to solve booking needs for investors (iBuyers, SFR portfolios, etc.), drive more business to iGo’s inspection company customers, and solve pain points for real estate agents that need an inspection done by someone they can trust. Together, Keystone and iGo Network have become a categorical first: a fully digital end-to-end inspection booking solution.
Further advancing the home inspection industry with a strategic merger
We are pleased to announce iGo's acquisition of Repair Pricer and HomeBinder, which we view as a significant positive development in the company’s trajectory. Wasatch Equity Partners, who originally participated in Repair Pricer’s seed round in June 2021, led the merger and will be heavily involved with operations post-close. Wasatch is a premier venture capital firm with a proven track record for making prudent strategic investments in firms across the proptech, medtech, consumer services, and enterprise services sectors.
Repair Pricer, with its advanced home inspection cost calculator, leverages an AI and NLP-powered architecture that can transform any home inspection report into an accurate repair estimate. HomeBinder’s robust home management platform serves over 450,000 homeowners, and provides centralized home documents, maintenance tools, reminders, and more. Importantly, now that HomeBinder is connected to the inspection via iGo, homeowners no longer have to upload and update their data - the platform takes care of this for them.
The integration of Repair Pricer and HomeBinder into the iGo platform demonstrates the company’s continued commitment to creating a seamless residential property purchasing experience. We look forward to partnering with Wasatch in the continued support for iGo’s mission to develop world-class technology to drastically improve home inspection and ongoing management. In addition to technology, this approach relies on iGo’s unique position of trust with a community of the country’s top home inspectors who strive to create a lasting positive impact for their clients.
Data as a competitive edge
With this merger, iGo has strategically positioned itself to offer superior service to inspectors, consumers, investors, and agents by prioritizing inspector selection based on performance track records, rigorous QC processes, and stellar customer service. iGo's Repair Pricer will become a significant differentiator from the competition by leveraging AI and data from over a million inspection reports to generate highly accurate repair cost estimates for buyers.
In the longer-term, almost every residential proptech company is strategically focusing on the lucrative property data sector. The reality is that very few proptech companies have a business model that will allow them to aggregate data at a scale that is truly valuable. We think iGo’s unique model will separate them from the pack as the company will possess a robust, accurate data set on millions of homes. While many residential proptechs are struggling to build traction with agents, iGo is leveraging an ecosystem it created wherein buyers, agents, and inspectors are willing and active participants.
Partner with iGo and share in their vision for improving the industry
We're excited to witness the transformative effect that iGo is having on the industry as a whole. As part of this journey, iGo is exploring new business development opportunities. iGo is looking to collaborate with providers of home-related products and services, real estate companies, and software providers seeking to integrate home inspection into their respective processes.
For more information on partnering with iGo, please reach out to Celeste Starchild at firstname.lastname@example.org
Connect with Hamilton Ventures
If you are interested in investing in our portfolio opportunities, reach out to Prashant Kothari: email@example.com