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Founded 📆March 2013
Founder 👔
Headquarters 🏙️, ,
Area served 🗺️
Key people
David Petersen, CEO
Jiyan Wei, Founder
Number of employees
📇 Address
📞 telephone

BuildZoom is an online marketplace for general contractors that uses a database of contractor licenses and building permits, to inform hiring recommendations. Based in San Francisco, CA, the company launched in March 2013 while participating in Y Combinator.[1] BuildZoom raised $1.4 million in seed financing from several investors including Formation 8 in June 2013.[2]

In October 2014, the company raised a second round of financing, estimated at $2.15 million.[3]


BuildZoom collects and uses contractor license information to generate listing pages. Licensed contractors can "claim" their page on the site and publish additional content about their businesses. Contractors are given a score that is determined by an algorithm, which considers information from license boards, building permit history, and community feedback.[4]

In September 2013, the company announced they had expanded their data collection to include building permit data from local government sites, to help inform contractor ratings.[5]

In April 2015, BuildZoom made their building permit data available to the general public through a mapping application. [6]

Market insights[edit]

In May 2014, BuildZoom collaborated on a research project with RealtyTrac to show the return-on-investment associated with home improvement expenditures prior to a sale.[7]

In November 2014, they showed a correlation between rising rental rates and decreased home improvement spending in San Francisco.[8]

The company has also shared information on major construction projects associated with large companies. In December 2014, the company shared details on the construction of an auditorium and fitness center at the Apple Inc. Cupertino office. In January 2015, BuildZoom shared building permit information that detailed progress being made to the Tesla Motors Gigafactory in Nevada.[9] In April 2015, BuildZoom shared information revealing that Google had spent more on remodeling over the past decade than the total spent by every Mountain View, California homeowner combined. [10]

In June 2015, BuildZoom released a report that detailed the regional growth of solar across the U.S.[11]

Using Tinder to catch a burglar[edit]

After being robbed numerous times at their office in SoMa, BuildZoom posted video footage of the burglar and offered a reward for information leading to her arrest. Several local companies who had been robbed by the same burglar, shared additional footage of her although an arrest was never made.[12]

Their subsequent use of Tinder to continue their pursuit of the criminal, gained recognition from several news sites, including the Daily Mirror.[13] A spokesperson from Tinder later told the local NBC affiliate that this was “a very creative use” of its service and that they were "happy to hear that Tinder is helping people connect for a variety of reasons.” [14]


  1. Perez, Sarah (14 March 2013). “BuildZoom Connects Homeowners With Contractors For Remodeling Projects, Doesn’t Charge For Access Or Leads”. TechCrunch. Retrieved 15 January 2015.
  2. Perez, Sarah (25 June 2013). “YC-Backed Contractor Directory BuildZoom Raises $1.4 Million Seed Round”. TechCrunch. Retrieved 15 January 2015.
  3. Kokalitcheva, Kia (6 October 2014). “With a fresh $2.15M, BuildZoom crunches data to pick the best home improvement contractors”. VentureBeat. Retrieved 15 January 2015.
  4. Cisero, Meshach (9 October 2014). “Big Data for Big Renovations: A Conversation with BuildZoom”. BIA Kelsey. Retrieved 15 January 2015.
  5. Grant, Rebecca (12 September 2013). “Buildzoom uses big data to prevent home renovation nightmares (exclusive)”. VentureBeat. Retrieved 15 January 2015.
  6. Biello, Peter (21 April 2015). "Home Repair Website Compiles Public Data for Private Gain". New Hampshire Public Radio. Retrieved 18 May 2015.
  7. Hill, Catey (4 May 2014). “House flipping becomes more profitable”. MarketWatch. Retrieved 15 January 2015.
  8. Garrison, Trey (12 November 2014). “Rising rents correlate with less home improvement spending”. Housing Wire. Retrieved 15 January 2015.
  9. Mac, Ryan (16 January 2015). “Tesla Gigafactory Permits Reveal Huge Costs: $16 Million For The Foundation Alone”. Forbes. Retrieved 19 January 2015.
  10. Carlyle, Erin (20 April 2015). "Google Spent $500 Million On Construction Since 2004, More Than All Local Homeowners Combined". Forbes. Retrieved 18 May 2015.
  11. Rauber, Chris (7 July 2015). “California cities, Hawaii light the way on national solar installation list”. San Francisco Business Journal. Retrieved 8 July 2015.
  12. Staff writer (22 July 2014). “Burglary Caught On Video Highlights Increased Reports Of San Francisco Startup Business Break-Ins”. CBS San Francisco. Retrieved 15 January 2015.
  13. Parsons, Jeff (16 December 2014)“Burgled business creates Tinder profile to help identify suspect”. Daily Mirror. Retrieved 15 January 2015.
  14. Russell, Jon (23 December 2014). “Now Tinder is Being Used to ID Suspected Thieves”. TechCrunch. Retrieved 15 January 2015

External links[edit]

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