Business development / Economics / Startups

On-demand painting startup Paintzen announces DC launch

Paintzen made its mark in SF and NYC and then heard the District is the place to be.

No more difficult DIY jobs. (Photo by Flickr user Emilio Küffer, used under a Creative Commons license)

The on-demand home and office painting service Paintzen announced its launch in D.C. Thursday.
The company currently operates in both San Francisco and New York City, and is debuting in two new northeast cities today — D.C. and Boston.
The Paintzen platform is essentially a middleman service between the consumer and the painting professional — providing the consumer (whether an individual or a business) with the ease of not having to do the research, planning and organizing generally involved in a paint job, and providing the professional with a direct line to booked work.
“Our thought process behind Paintzen was to simplify the very painful, extensive process of having your home or office painted,” Paintzen CEO Mike Russell told It’s, yes, “The Uber For House Painting.”
So how does it work?
In each of its cities, Paintzen has a curated list of painting companies that they work with. Businesses go through a certification process to join the platform, but there is no subscription cost.
“In order to join the platform the company has to apply and then go through a vetting process which includes a series of background checks, a painters exam and an on-sight visit with one of our existing paint companies. Once they’re on they can start to ‘accept’ work, or reject work, whenever they’d like,” Russell said.
When a customer visits the Paintzen website, he or she is directed through a short series of questions about the paint job. Following this, Paintzen gives a price quote for the job — including paint (as of Nov. 11, Paintzen has an exclusive partnership with Benjamin Moore), labor, set up and clean up. Once a customer books the service the job is offered to one partner paint company at a time until a company accepts the work.
Companies are matched to jobs by an assessment of the company’s size vis a vis that of the job, their availability, etc. In another on-demand economy trope, the highest rated companies (on the basis of customer satisfaction) see the jobs first.
On the consumer side pricing and payment is “clear and easy” — in other words, Paintzen takes care of it, Russell said. Paintzen itself makes money by taking a commission off the paint, the labor and the supplies.
At the company’s launch in D.C. it will have three employees based here — two sales representatives and a general manager for the city. They’ll be working with four or five painting companies to start, adding more as demand goes up so as not to “saturate the supply side.”
So why D.C. as Paintzen’s third city?
“We looked for a couple of different things,” Russell told “Number one is we wanted proximity to our headquarters in New York. … Number two, we looked at the cities where the most paint sales were happening, and then we also looked a the demographics, and D.C. became an obvious choice.”
“Not to mention,” he added, “I hear through the rumor mill of other marketplace startups, it’s getting out that D.C. is one of the best cities to go to.”
So there you have it. Need a paint job on your home or office and don’t want to go through all the work yourself? As of today, Paintzen is here to help.


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