- Curbio gives home sellers the chance to renovate their homes and then pay once they’ve sold.
- The goal is to help people earn top bids and appeal to millennials seeking modern layouts.
- With a $65 million Series B, Curbio aims to make the entire renovation process easier.
Fix now, pay later.
That’s the pitch startup Curbio is making to real-estate agents and brokerages whose clients want to get their properties in top condition before putting them on the market.
The company, which just raised $65 million in its Series B funding round, offers homeowners the chance to replace a roof, upgrade kitchen counters, or revamp a backyard without putting any money down. Instead, the seller only pays for those renovations once the sale of their home has closed.
The goal is to help people attract higher bids for their homes, even if they may be short on cash for repairs.
Curbio also bills itself as a solution to labor shortages that have made finding contractors for renovation projects a headache.
It attracts workers by offering reliable projects while getting rid of invoicing and payment issues that are perennial headaches for small businesses, according to its website. After being vetted by the company, contractors select projects on an invitation-only platform.
From there, Curbio oversees the entire project. It provides updates through an app and pays the contractors as the work is completed. When the sale of the home closes, it collects its money from the seller.
Some high-profile brokerage firms such as Compass and Realogy have also launched financing options or concierge services that allow clients to pay for home renovations at the sale’s closing.
But Curbio CEO Rick Rudman said those companies offer only partial solutions that don’t address other pain points in the home-renovation process. He has likened his company’s services to those of Uber, which matches riders with drivers while providing reliable fare estimates and an easy-to-use interface.
Curbio says its projects result in an average 20% increase in selling prices, a 50% reduction in project time, and a 50% reduction in days on market, based on local market data and average home-remodeling times.
Curbio’s latest funding round was led by Revolution Growth, a Washington, D.C.-based venture-capital fund that invests in growth-stage companies across the US. The fund is headed by former AOL chairman and CEO Steve Case; Ted Leonsis, the owner of the Washington Wizards NBA franchise and the NHL’s Washington Capitals; and Steve Murray, formerly of Softbank.
Patrick Conroy, a partner at Revolution Growth who is joining Curbio’s board, called the home-renovation market “massive.” A lot of that money is spent on presale upgrades, he said.
“Curbio’s technology-enabled solution addresses a major mismatch in the U.S. housing market — more than 80% of homes are over 15 years old and more than half of new buyers are millennials seeking modern layouts and finishes in their new homes,” Conroy said in a release.
Curbio has raised $93 million since it was founded in 2017, according to the company. The additional money will be used to expand its current reach of 25 markets — New York City is one of five that the company currently has in its sights — and further develop Curbio’s proprietary technology.
The company currently has around 100 employees, but Rudman said that figure will likely double in 2022 as the company hires across a range of roles.