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The Mayfield Fund and Venrock Capital Lead $7.4 Million Investment in Series A Funding for Redbeacon
Based in San Mateo, California, Redbeacon is a company that has developed a revolutionary service of connecting consumers with service businesses online. The company announced on August 5, 2010, that it has raised $7.4 million in series A funding with the Mayfield Fund and Venrock Capital leading the funding round. The proceeds from this funding round will help Redbeacon with its platform to connect consumers with local service professionals and handle the job or project deal.
Redbeacon has developed a rather simple platform where consumers can go online and connect with practically any local service business in their location. Redbeacon not only connects consumers, but also provides them with quotes, and allows for scheduling appointments and more. Redbeacon also allows consumers to compare quotes from different companies and service professionals and the consumer can then decide which service professional or business gives them the better value for their dollar. Redbeacon’s platform made big news when in 2009, it launched at the TechCrunch 50 Conference and won the top prize.
As part of the agreement for this funding round, Raj Kapoor, Managing Director at the Mayfield Fund and Brian Ascher, General Partner at Venrock Capital will join Redbeacon’s board of directors. Winning the top prize at the TechCrunch 50 Conference is a key achievement for any tech company featured at the conference.
What makes Redbeacon so revolutionary is in how it works. Consumers can simply log onto the Redbeacon website and simple search for a particular service in their locality and they will instantly see a whole list of local service professionals or businesses in their area. They can then narrow the search and even request services. Redbeacon makes the search and handling of the service contract between the consumer and corresponding service professional very easy. When the consumer conducts a search on Redbeacon, he describes the project and what he needs to have done. Redbeacon then sends the consumer’s information to the database and will instantly provide the consumer with quotes from different service professionals. The consumer can then arrange for an appointment with a service professional of his or her choosing and close the contract. What the most amazing feature of Redbeacon is that the consumer can even schedule the job with the service professional online.
When a startup wins the top prize at the TechCrunch 50 Conference, it is an incredible achievement. The top prize, known to the TechCrunch crowd as the Grand Prize is given to a startup that stands out from the rest. Typically, the TechCrunch 50 Conference is a conference where entrepreneurs and their startup companies can launch and display their product or service prototype and all 50 startups who have their presentations at the conference are then judged. The startup which the judges see as the most outstanding receives a check for $50,000 as the grand prize.
According to Redbeacon’s cofounder and CEO, Ethan Anderson, consumers expect to use the internet as more than a directory of a digital phone book. The internet is a unique medium that can be interactive. For this reason, consumers expect that the internet can find, and even be used as a vehicle for correspondence between the consumer and the service professional. Furthermore, the product that Redbeacon provides goes that extra mile and even allows consumers to get price quotes and schedule jobs directly online.
Mr. Kapoor of the Mayfield Fund and new Redbeacon board member further added that the internet can be used for anything from planning and scheduling travel arrangements to searching for jobs and careers, so why not for local service professionals. Furthermore the local services market is a great opportunity for Redbeacon because this is a market that is highly under served by the internet and this can be a great barrier of entry for this startup. Because local areas can differ by geographic location, no one has attempted to create a website that can list local service professionals or businesses nationwide to allow consumers to quickly choose from in their own home and not have to spend months to find the right contractor for that remodeling job or the right landscaper for their yard.
What makes Redbeacon very unique in its platform is that when consumers do request services on Redbeacon’s interface, Redbeacon will send algorithms to the local businesses in the region of the consumer and will give back quotes, show availability, and everything else the consumer needs to know when requesting a particular service to be performed.
According to Mr. Ascher from Venrock Capital and new Redbeacon board member, the team at Redbeacon is very talented and has developed a service platform that is very unique and has the potential to disrupt the local services directory market. One great way to describe Redbeacon’s service is that they have turned the tedious local service professional search from a time consuming phone book based process to a smooth and quick e-commerce process that can be completed in a matter of minutes.
The Mayfield Fund is an investment fund that primarily invests in the enterprise, energy technology, consumer, and telecom & semiconductor industries. The vc firm has been around for over 40 years and has over $2.8 billion under its management. Some other companies in Mayfield’s portfolio include Gigya, Citrix, 3-Par, Mobile 365, Panologic, Ankeena, Packet Design, Tejas Networks, and others.
Venrock Capital is one of America’s largest venture capital firms with investments in over 400 different companies. Originally founded in 1938 as the venture capital arm of the Rockefeller Family, the firm currently has offices in Palo Alto, California; New York City; and Cambridge, Massachusetts. Over the time since Venrock was founded, some of the most famous companies to receive investments from Venrock include Eastern Airlines and Apple Computers. Current companies in Venrock’s portfolio include 2wire, 3com, Acceleron, Adify, Altea Therapeutics, Anacor, and others.
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