The inspiration for Jobox came from a call the future CEO received from a Miami locksmith looking for suggestions on tools to use. Jobox raised a $42M Series B in April.
By Riley Kaminer
Entrepreneurship is in Shay Bloch’s blood. For over 20 years, his mother has run a small restaurant. “She knows how to make great food and give great service,” Bloch told Refresh Miami. “But even today, if I ask her about the cost of what she’s making, she wouldn’t be able to tell me.”
As a serial entrepreneur, it has been Bloch’s mission to empower micro and small businesses with the data-driven tools to help drive their business. Bloch, who has two successful exits under his belt and has also led product teams at HoneyBook and IAC, immigrated to the US from Israel 12 years ago. But his latest migration has been an intranational one, moving from Silicon Valley to Miami.
His decision to move to the Magic City stems from his latest venture, Jobox, where he is a co-founder and CEO. The rapidly-scaling startup offers digital tools for home services providers like plumbers and locksmiths, Bloch said.
“We want providers to think, ‘I need a wrench, I need a drill, and I need Jobox in order to do my job.”
Despite being founded in Palo Alto in 2017, Jobox’s roots are 100% Miamian. The inspiration for Jobox came from a call Bloch received from a Miami locksmith who was looking for suggestions on tools to use. Bloch suggested exactly what you’d expect a tech guy would suggest: things like QuickBooks and Square. But for this locksmith, those tools wouldn’t suffice.
So Bloch decided to actually spend time with the locksmith, getting a sense of what his needs were. Fast forward a few months and Jobox was born as a digital platform for home services professionals to keep track of and collect payments for their work. Jobox’s first 200 customers were based in Miami, which Bloch called a “natural place to start with.”
“We wanted to develop technology to serve people that may be far away from San Francisco,” he explained, underscoring the need to help these professionals around the country and at scale.
Fast forward to the pandemic, and Miami started to make even more sense. Bloch prefers an in-person work environment, which was much more feasible here than in many places around the country. While the company had already had a presence in Miami pre-pandemic, about a year and a half ago Bloch moved here and really doubled down on South Florida.
Since then, Jobox has hired a staff of 50 in its Aventura office – the majority of its 60-person team. These local employees work across all verticals, with one notable exception: software development. According to Bloch, that’s because a lot of technical talent is still either based on the West Coast or spread throughout the US.
Jobox takes a percentage in fees to process the payments providers run through their system – no subscription fees in sight. They have also developed a marketplace whereby consumer-facing platforms can plug into Jobox’s network of service providers through an API. Then, providers are notified when there is a new job opportunity in their area. Bloch calls this a win-win-win: the end users are provided with a speedy, effective service; providers avoid traveling long distances for meager pay; and Jobox makes a profit when there is a successful job done.
In April, Jobox landed a $42 million Series B led by General Catalyst, bringing their total funding to $58 million. They plan to use this funding to roll out new features, including a series of financial products.
Already, Jobox provides users with a virtual wallet, but next quarter the company will become a FDIC-insured bank for these service professionals. That will enable Jobox to underwrite loans and provide liquidity to these users when they need it the most.
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