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BuildZoom is an online remodeling marketplace that was founded in 2013 by Jiyan Wei and David Petersen.[2] The company is based in San Francisco, CA.[24]




BuildZoom aggregates a variety of data, including licensure information, building permits and consumer reviews,[3] which are made available through the company's website. In 2015, the company released an application that allowed users to browse building permit data in a variety of cities.[4]

Selected Market Insights

In September 2016, BuildZoom's Chief Economist, Issi Romem, released a study entitled "Can U.S. Cities Compensate for Curbing Sprawl by Growing Denser" that explored the long-run relationship between U.S. cities' housing supply, their outward expansion, and their densification.[5] The study was covered by the Wall Street Journal,[6] The Washington Post,[7] Bloomberg,[8][9] CityLab[10] and others.

In April 2016, BuildZoom's Chief Economist released a study entitled “Has the Expansion of American Cities Slowed Down?”[2] The study visualized the outward expansion of all U.S. cities (metropolitan areas) from 1940 to 2010 and classified their behavior into three city types: expensive, expansive and legacy cities. The study was covered by the Wall Street Journal,[2] CityLab[2] and others.

In early 2016, BuildZoom published a series of four blog posts on first-time home buyers.[2][2][2][2] Among other things, the series demonstrated that during the previous decade’s housing boom mortgage lending was available to people with a broad range of incomes, whereas since then first-time buyers had grown more financially select. The study was covered by the Associated Press,[2] USA Today[2] and others.

In 2015, BuildZoom collaborated with the Urban Economics Lab at the MIT Center for Real Estate to produce the BuildZoom & Urban Economics Lab Index, a set of indices tracking residential remodeling and new construction activity.[2] The Index leverages BuildZoom’s national repository of building permit data and is currently released quarterly.

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.[3]

In November 2014, they showed a correlation between rising rental rates and decreased home improvement spending in San Francisco.[3]


The company participated in Y Combinator[3] and subsequently 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.[3]