Renno Streamlines Home Improvements With Its Materials Marketplace

The startup helps suppliers bring their business online and connects renovators to all the materials they need.

Written by Ashley Bowden
Published on Nov. 29, 2022
Renno Streamlines Home Improvements With Its Materials Marketplace
Renno co-founder and CEO Khalief Brown smiles for a photo indoors.
Khalief Brown, co-founder and CEO of Renno. | Photo: Renno

Sure the latest initiatives from the Teslas, Apples and Googles of the industry tend to dominate the tech news space — and with good reason. Still, the tech titans aren’t the only ones bringing innovation to the sector.

In an effort to highlight up-and-coming startups, Built In has launched The Future 5 across eight major U.S. tech hubs. Each quarter, we will feature five tech startups, nonprofits or entrepreneurs in each of these hubs who just might be working on the next big thing. You can check out last quarter’s Los Angeles round-up here.

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Renovation projects are a hefty undertaking, whether a homeowner wants to get new countertops installed or a designer plans to convert someone’s spare closet into a walk-in pantry. No matter who’s doing the handiwork, they all have one thing in common — they need materials to get the job done. However, acquiring all those materials is often easier said than done.

Khalief Brown spent a decade in the real estate sector with experience ranging from working as an agent to delving into proptech. During that time, he recognized how challenging something as essential as sourcing project materials can be, so he set out to build a solution to make this process simpler. He co-founded Renno in 2020.  

“Renno is a B2B platform for building materials,” Brown, Renno’s CEO and co-founder, told Built In. “We help connect building materials suppliers to their customers, and we help their customers — whether it be homeowners or professionals like contractors, designers [and] small businesses — to streamline their renovation process, material sourcing and fulfillment.”

For the professionals embarking on their renovation journeys, Renno’s platform aggregates various material categories, such as flooring, countertops and cabinetry, and enables users to source all their products from one place. Typically, renovators would need to visit around 10 different suppliers for one project, according to Brown.

Furthermore, much of that supplier experience is offline, meaning smaller businesses without websites or other online customer resources have to find business the old-fashioned way through word of mouth. Renno offers tools for suppliers that only have brick-and-mortar locations to expand their business presence with Renno’s online e-commerce solution.

I feel like people shouldn’t just accept that renovations are painful, so our vision is really to improve the entire renovation process.”

In its initial form, Renno strived to connect homeowners to contractors, and it also worked to help facilitate their renovation designs. The company designed 100 projects in 2021 but has since halted this initiative due to the difficulty of remodeling individual properties at scale. Today, Renno counts a few hundred professional users on its platform and offers them services including material delivery logistics and a suite of financial tools to aid in their renovation journey.

While building out the reimagined home of one’s dreams might ultimately be a rewarding experience, the process of finishing those renovations often includes several pain points for homeowners, including extended project completion times and contractors not showing up to the job site. By streamlining the material fulfillment process for contractors and designers, Renno believes the end result will be a positive overall experience for homeowners.

“You hear so many just painful things about renovations, and I think people have just accepted that,” Brown said. “I feel like people shouldn’t just accept that renovations are painful, so our vision is really to improve the entire renovation process.”

Looking ahead, Renno is largely focused on helping suppliers streamline their business operations. Its supplier-facing e-commerce solution is currently active in a private beta, so Renno’s main objective at this point is to build and launch this solution’s final form. It also wants to add new supplier tools like selling products online and accepting different payment options.

“Our whole mission is [to] empower local vendors to be on the same playing field as the bigger companies,” Brown said. “Our product roadmap is pretty much aligned with how we can add more tools and features to help them be more competitive.”

Renno is currently powering this mission with a small but mighty team of around eight people. The company recently pulled in an oversubscribed $1.15 million pre-seed funding round from Techstars, Ulu Ventures, Waveline Ventures, Debut Capital, Lab Ventures, Bragiel Brothers and other angel investors. The fresh funds will go toward growing Renno’s sales and engineering teams.

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Update: Additional information about Renno’s pre-seed round has been added to the article.

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