French startup StarOfService just raised another $10 million for its European Thumbtack alternative. Andrea Piccioni and Silvio Pagliani, ENERN Investments and Point Nine Capital participated in today’s round, as well as various business angels.
When I first covered StarOfService, the company didn’t even try to hide from me that it was a Thumbtack copycat. The main difference is that Thumbtack is still only available in the U.S. StarOfService has used this opportunity to get customers in untapped markets.
Here’s a quick recap in case you aren’t familiar with the Thumbtack model. If you need to hire a plumber, a guitar teacher, a photographer and more, you can tell the platform what you’re looking for. Over the next 24 hours, professionals can bid on your request. The client can finally pick a service provider based on reviews and quotes.
While this system might not be efficient enough if there’s a giant leak in your bathroom or you’re in the middle of a power outage, many projects require you to find the right person — for home improvement, event-based and teaching jobs, waiting a day or two before connecting with the right professional seems fair.
And it seems to be working as the startup has generated around $900,000 (€800,000) in business volume — StarOfService takes a cut from this number. The startup has developed specific websites for Italy, Spain, Germany, the U.K., Poland, Australia, Canada, Turkey, Brazil, India and France.
Even though StarOfService started as a copycat, it looks like the startup has bigger ambitions now. It seemed unrealistic a couple of years ago, but maybe the startup now has a shot at becoming the global leader on this market — minus the U.S.
While Thumbtack has a ton of funding, if the company doesn’t expand internationally quickly enough, there might not be enough room to compete properly with StarOfService outside of the U.S.
With today’s funding round, StarOfService plans to expand internationally more aggressively. This kind of companies require a lot of capital for search engine optimization, online ads and recruiting professionals. And if this expansion is working, it’s just step one as there should be more expansion pushes in the future.