NYC home improvement startup Sweeten launches in Philadelphia - Philly


Apr. 5, 2016 11:00 am

NYC home improvement startup Sweeten launches in Philadelphia

The venture-backed startup joins Philly competitors like ServiceWhale and Bestimators.

A kitchen renovated via Sweeten.

(Courtesy photo)

Hey, ServiceWhale. A competitor is coming to town.

Sweeten, a New York City startup that raised $3.5 million in venture capital last fall, connects home-improvement contractors and customers, similar to the Trevose, Pa.-based startup ServiceWhale. Sweeten is using those funds to expand to Philadelphia, their first expansion market.

Sweeten doesn’t plan to hire any local operations staffers just yet, a spokeswoman said, but will work with local contractors. (Like ServiceWhale, contractors pay Sweeten a commission for every project they complete.) Sweeten also employs project managers to oversee jobs booked through Sweeten. Those project managers are based in NYC for now, but a spokeswoman said that depending on demand, Sweeten may hire Philly-based project managers.

Will the competition affect ServiceWhale? The Philly company has raised capital of its own from angel investors, a million shy of Sweeten’s raise, and has a big local marketing campaign going on right now. It also recently expanded to New York City and plans to be live in Washington, D.C., and Boston by the end of 2016, said VP of business development and marketing Aaron Rovner. Like Sweeten, ServiceWhale doesn’t have any operations staffers in its expansion markets.

As far as home improvement startups in Philly, there’s also Bestimators, the Dreamit-backed startup that focuses on “big-ticket” projects.

There are also other competing startups in the market, like and the Home Depot-owned Red Beacon.

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