Matt Ehrlichman Sold His First Startup At Age 28 For $US60 Million, And Now He's Back With Porch.com

There’s a hot new competitor to Angie’s List that launched today called Porch.com.

Like Angie’s List, Porch helps you find home improvement professionals by checking recommendations. But it goes one better: It lets you see pictures of projects done in your own neighbourhood including how much people paid for the work.

Here’s an example:

Matt Ehrlichman likes to call it “LinkedIn for homeowners,” he told Business Insider, because it helps neighbours meet and swap notes about their remodeling projects.

So far, Porch.com has info on 90 million remodeling projects and 1.5 million home improvement professionals nationwide.

And the two cofounders and best friends since college have been through hell and high water to get here.

Matt Ehrlichman Porch.comLinkedIn/Matt EhrlichmanMatt Ehrlichman, cofounder Porch.com

In March, Castro was diagnosed with brain cancer.

“He discovered he had brain cancer two days after his daughter was born,” Ehrlichman told us.

Thankfully surgeons were able to remove 98 per cent of the tumour and he’s been doing six weeks of radiation to kill the rest. He goes to treatment in the morning, then comes into work.

His prognoses is good, Ehrlichman told us. Still, the illness “really changes my perspective and his. He’s so much more fired up about what we’re doing,” Ehrlichman said. When you face something like this it makes you “want to have a real purpose.”

This is the second startup Ehrlichman and Castro launched together. They founded the first, Thriva, in college.

Thriva was software for online summer camp and event registrations that was bought by The Active Network (otherwise known as Active.com) for $US60 million in 2007. Ehrlichman was 28. After the sale, he took an executive role with Active.com and stayed through Active’s IPO in 2011.

And Thriva wasn’t even Ehrlichman’s first success. At age 15 he launched a summer sports camp for kids called All Star Camps (the inspiration for Thriva). During high school, he built it into a company that spanned across western Washington.

With a history like that, no wonder angel investors were tripping over themselves to fund the new venture. The company raised $US6.25 million from people like super angel Ron Conway, eBay mafia alum Jeff Skoll and some unnamed execs from Facebook.

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