BuildZoom is an online marketplace for general contractors that uses a database of contractor licenses and building permits, to inform hiring recommendations. Based in San Francisco, CA, the company launched in March 2013 while participating in Y Combinator.[2] BuildZoom raised $1.4 million in seed financing from several investors including Formation 8 in June 2013.[3]


In October 2014, the company raised a second round of financing, estimated at $2.15 million.[4] 


BuildZoom collects and uses contractor license information to generate listing pages. Licensed contractors can "claim" their page on the site and publish additional content about their businesses. Contractors are given a score that is determined by an algorithm, which considers information from license boards, building permit history, and community feedback.[5]

In September 2013, the company announced they had expanded their data collection to include building permit data from local government sites, to help inform contractor ratings.[6]


In April 2015, BuildZoom made their building permit data available to the general public through a mapping application. [7]

Market Insights

In May 2014, BuildZoom collaborated on a research project with RealtyTrac to show the return-on-investment associated with home improvement expenditures prior to a sale.[8]


In November 2014, they showed a correlation between rising rental rates and decreased home improvement spending in San Francisco.[9]


The company has also shared information on major construction projects associated with large companies. In December 2014, the company shared details on the construction of an auditorium and fitness center at the Apple Inc. Cupertino office. In January 2015, BuildZoom shared building permit information that detailed progress being made to the Tesla Motors Gigafactory in Nevada.[10] In April 2015, BuildZoom shared information revealing that Google had spent more on remodeling over the past decade than the total spent by every Mountain View, California homeowner combined. [2]


In June 2015, BuildZoom released a report that detailed the regional growth of solar across the U.S.[2]

Using Tinder to Catch a Burglar

After being robbed numerous times at their office in SoMa, BuildZoom posted video footage of the burglar and offered a reward for information leading to her arrest. Several local companies who had been robbed by the same burglar, shared additional footage of her although an arrest was never made.[2]


Their subsequent use of Tinder to continue their pursuit of the criminal, gained recognition from several news sites, including the Daily Mirror.[2] A spokesperson from Tinder later told the local NBC affiliate that this was “a very creative use” of its service and that they were "happy to hear that Tinder is helping people connect for a variety of reasons.” [2]