Madrona Venture Group Leads Round to Fund Aggressive Expansion of Tech Support Service that Matches Savvy College Students with Frustrated Technology Users
LOS ANGELES–(BUSINESS WIRE)–September 17, 2015–
HelloTech announced today a $12.5 million Series A funding round led by Madrona Venture Group with participation from all existing institutional holders including Upfront Ventures, CrossCut Ventures and Accel Partners.
Since launching in May, HelloTech has paired savvy college students, HelloTech Heroes, with technology users who are tired of waiting on hold and need in-person support. HelloTech screens, tests and vets their Heroes and then deploys them to homes covering more than 200 zip codes in Los Angeles, which represents a population of more than 3 million people. HelloTech will expand to Orange County in the coming weeks with additional major metros shortly thereafter.
Bringing the ease of the on-demand economy to tech support, consumers can sign up and schedule a convenient time for their first visit through the HelloTech website on either their computer, a smartphone or via a phone call answered by a live person. Given that technology issues are often emergencies or feel like emergencies, HelloTech offers service within 24 hours and in most cases can provide same-day service.
“It’s clear that HelloTech has struck a chord with our consumers and investors as technology in the home has become as important as common utilities such as electricity, water and telephone service,” said Richard Wolpert, co-founder and CEO of HelloTech. “Everyone has had the experience of something new and cool just not working and almost everyone in the technology industry has been called in to help fix tech issues for someone else, usually their parents or grandparents. HelloTech provides the patient and experienced help that technology users need without having to tap into extended family and friends.”
HelloTech solves many existing issues, including common issues with WiFi connectivity, photo management and sluggish computers that plague consumers. HelloTech Heroes also teach consumers the tips and tricks for new devices such as iOS or Android devices, transforming the device from a phone into something truly delightful.
Additionally, HelloTech offers a curated selection of smart home technologies including wireless music systems, Internet-controlled thermostats, digital door locks, and video surveillance systems. These technology devices are increasingly becoming common features in today’s homes, but can be confusing to purchase, install and operate. HelloTech offers products in a range of categories and prices to simplify the process of taking advantage of these new home technologies. The company already partners with technology companies such as Sonos, Nest, Belkin, Linksys, WeMo, Ring, Lifelock, and iDrive.
“Richard and his team have built a service we all would like to have for ourselves and our relatives,” said Len Jordan, managing director, Madrona Venture Group. “With more than half of senior citizens online and baby boomers who want the new technologies in their home but do not necessarily relish the work to install them, a service like HelloTech replaces the hunt around for a willing kid of a friend to help them out. The HelloTech team has built a strong following and we are excited to work with them as they expand their service.”
As part of the financing Jordan joins the HelloTech board. Jordan and Wolpert first worked together at RealNetworks in Seattle where each ran major divisions of the company.
Consumers in LA (and soon Orange County) can schedule their appointment by visiting http://www.hellotech.com/ or by calling 1-888-982-4410 to schedule a convenient time for their first visit. Visits are billed at $79 per hour.
Founded by former Disney and Apple exec and venture capitalist Richard Wolpert, HelloTech provides in home tech support, advice, and sales of new smarthome technology on demand and in your home. The company is based in Los Angeles and was incubated in Amplify.LA.
About Madrona Venture Group
Madrona (www.madrona.com) has been investing in early-stage technology companies since 1995 and has been privileged to play a role in some of the region’s most successful technology ventures. The firm invests predominantly in seed and Series A rounds across the information technology spectrum, including consumer Internet, SAAS, digital media and advertising, cloud computing, data analytics, and mobile.
View source version on businesswire.com: http://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20150917005266/en/
Madrona Venture Group
Erika Shaffer, 206-674-6330
VB’s research team is studying web-personalization… Chime in here, and we’ll share the results.