Hendri Wigunah

Hendri Wigunah

Startup Founder & Millenial Entrepreneur

Streem raises more cash for AR-powered home improvement tech, hints at larger vision – GeekWire

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(Streem Photo)

Investors are pouring more money into Streem, the Portland, Ore.-based startup that develops augmented reality technology for home service professionals and has hinted at a larger vision beyond fixing your sink or repairing an electrical issue.

Streem CEO Ryan Fink. (Photo via Streem)

A new SEC filing reveals that the company has raised an additional $6.8 million. Streem CEO Ryan Fink told GeekWire that the fresh cash is part of a larger round, but declined to provide more details about investors or how the startup will use the investment.

Streem recently raised $2 million in March and another $1.7 million this past December. Existing investors include Flying Fish Partners; Greycroft; Curious Capital; Oregon Venture Fund; Portland Seed Fund; TechNexus; Rogue Venture Partners; Betaworks Ventures; GGV Capital; General Catalyst; Loup Ventures; and others.

Streem aims to give home service professionals a way to more quickly diagnose and quote a customer’s inquiry via new smartphone technology. Customers can use Streem’s app to stream HD video of their given issue to the professional, who can then use a digital toolbox to take measurements and other notes. Computer vision technology can automatically detect the brand and model number of a part or appliance. Professionals can guide the conversation with a laser pointer and use arrows anchored to a 3D map of the space. The photos, videos, notes, and data stay saved on the app, which uses Apple’s ARKit.

The idea is to help professionals assess a problem during a “virtual visit” and gather the necessary tools, all before they physically enter a home.

Streem, which hired former LiquidPlanner CEO Liz Pearce as its chief revenue officer in April, makes money by charging a monthly fee per professional that starts at $19. The service is free for consumers. Streem partnered with HomeAdvisor last year to help attract service professionals; it did the same with Porch this past May.

During a pitch this past summer, Fink said Streem was on pace to do $100,000 in monthly recurring revenue by the end of 2018 and could triple that by the end of next year.

In an interview with Digital Trends earlier this year, Fink said he wants “to open Streem up to everybody.”

“No matter if you’re a chef; you own a local store; you’re a YouTube celebrity — you want to connect with your customers in a more personal way,” he told Digital Trends. “We want you to be able to do that through Streem.”

The state of virtual and augmented reality: Industry sees new reasons for hope amid the hype

Gene Munster, co-founder of Loup Ventures, wrote a blog post in September about backing Streem and said he invested “as a play on augmented reality transforming human interaction.”

“We define augmented reality as the layering of artificial sensory elements onto the real world,” wrote Munster, who is well-known for predicting Apple’s success. “While the smartphone will be the hardware that enables basic augmented reality applications over the next few years, AR will eventually be delivered by wearables that replace the screen as we know it.”

Munster said Streem’s technology not only can add value in home services, but also other customer support verticals — in the auto industry, for example.

“For example, a new car buyer may find it difficult to operate the entertainment system or fold down the third row of seating,” he wrote. “Streem allows a direct, cost-effective connection between a consumer and a manufacturer. Manufacturers win because the interaction builds brand loyalty; consumers win because they get thorough and timely assistance.”

While virtual and augmented reality have yet to catch on with mainstream consumers, B2B companies such as Streem are finding ways to build businesses using the technology.

Apple, meanwhile, continues to invest heavily in AR-related tech. Apple CEO Tim Cook voiced his continued enthusiasm for AR in a recent Axios interview.

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