Montreal-based Smart Reno, a home renovation platform that connects consumers to renovation contractors, has been acquired by RBC Ventures, the investment arm of the Royal Bank of Canada. The terms of the acquisition were not disclosed.
“We see an incredible opportunity to transform the home improvement industry.”
Smart Reno’s platform aims to simplify the process of estimating renovation costs and requesting quotes from renovation professionals. RBC Ventures said Smart Reno will now be able to access the assets and resources it needs to scale its operations across Canada, expand the capabilities of its platform, and further improve the user experience.
“RBC Ventures is moving beyond banking to create solutions that support Canadians through every stage of their home journey,” said Simon Maycock, vice president and head of home solutions at RBC Ventures. “Our portfolio of ventures already helps Canadians rent, buy, move into and maintain a home, and now we’re helping Canadians improve their home.”
Smart Reno, which was founded in 2012, raised $500,000 from several angel investors in Quebec, in 2013. In 2015, Smart Reno raised $1.6 million from angel investors Martin-Luc Archambault, Daniel Robichaud, Mike Cegelski, Pierre Fleurent, and the Anges Québec Capital Fund. That same month, it announced the acquisition of local competitor Zoomission, which also helped homeowners find home improvement contractors in Quebec.
“After building and growing Smart Reno over the last seven years and achieving a leadership position in the markets in which we operate, joining RBC Ventures will allow Smart Reno to significantly improve how home renovations are done at scale across Canada,” said Andrei Uglar, founder and CEO of Smart Reno.
“With our shared mission of simplifying and improving Canadians’ lives through exceptional customer experiences, we are thrilled to work with RBC Ventures to take Smart Reno to new heights and make a meaningful impact in the home improvement industry,” he stated.
Through Smart Reno’s platform, consumers can post their renovation requirements, and Smart Reno provides free referrals to contractors who are qualified and interested in the project. Its matching process aims to identify the most fitting local contractors for a given project. The company has also developed a lead management software for home improvement retailers to manage installation services.
“Canadians spend nearly $80 billion a year on home renovation projects. However, the experience continues to be painful, inefficient, and lacks trust and transparency for many,” said Maycock. “We see an incredible opportunity to transform the home improvement industry and help bring peace of mind and differentiated value to both consumers and renovation professionals with Smart Reno.”
RBC has upped its activity in the startup space in the last year, launching RBC Ventures to co-create and invest in startups, as well as an accelerator with Highline BETA, last June. RBC announced a partnership in August with Espresso Capital aimed to target Canadian tech companies seeking debt financing, which had provided non-dilutive financing to 230 companies at the time the partnership was announced.
Image courtesy Pixabay