Maintenance Marketplace Startup Stellar Has Eyes on ‘Next Phase of Growth’ With New Name and New CTO

Dallas-based Stellar connects contractors with property managers in the single-family rental market. With $15M in funding to date, it's punching up its tech with new CTO Renaud Casanova—whose Silicon Valley background includes stints with Facebook and the San Francisco 49ers.

"We're on a continued trajectory to build world-class software to power one of the market’s top managed maintenance marketplaces," says Founder and CEO Dustin Marx.

A local startup is bringing on a former Facebook leader as its top technologist as its looks to enter its “next phase of growth.”

With its eyes on building out its platform and team, Dallas-based Stellar—a company working to connect contractors with property managers—announced hiring Renaud Casanova as its chief technology officer.

“Renaud’s industry experience and vision, combined with our intuitive technology interface, will lead our continued investments in talent and tech and further solidify our mission to deliver hassle-free maintenance,” Dustin Marx, Stellar’s founder and CEO, said in a statement.

Video still: Stellar

Casanova brings Silicon Valley savvy to Stellar

Stellar is focused on the single-family rental market, where it says property owners and managers are typically institutional investors, rather than individuals. The company’s managed marketplace helps those owners and managers find the right contractor to resolve maintenance issues, leveraging artificial intelligence and machine learning to add more predictability to the process.

As the company’s new top technologist, Casanova will be responsible for building upon and adding to Stellar’s marketplace based on the needs of clients, contractors, and resident, all while scaling the company’s engineering team.

“Our purpose is to deliver hassle-free maintenance across the property lifecycle—to property owners, property managers, contractors, and residents,” a spokesperson for the company told Dallas Innovates. “Our mission is to increase asset value, reputation, and retention to build thriving businesses and communities.”

Casanova’s background includes stints with Facebook, San Francisco 49ers

Before joining Stellar, Casanova served as the vice president of product and engineering at Silicon Valley-based retail startup Enjoy Technology, a company founded by former Apple and JC Penney exec Ron Johnson. Prior to that, Casanova served as a product manager for the San Francisco 49ers, helping to manage the implementation of a mobile in-seat delivery and ticketing system at the team’s Levi’s Stadium. Casanova was also responsible for helping prep Facebook (now Meta) for its initial public offering, working as an IT business applications and engineering manager and helping the company implement its first enterprise resource planning system, which enabled auditability across its business processes and operations.

“The people-first culture and passion of Stellar’s talented team captivated me from the start,” Casanova said in a statement. “I’m excited to problem-solve and build solutions and integrations that have a positive impact on people’s lives.”

Stellar’s growth supported by $15M in funding

Stellar team photo [Photo: Stellar]

With Casanova in its C-Suite, Stellar said it aims to invest in its technology and talent as it eyes new growth. Since launching in 2016, the company says its clients include 10 of the 11 largest single-family rental operators, representing more than 150,000 properties. It has also amassed more than 8,000 contractors in its network, serving major metro areas in Texas, Indiana, Florida, Oklahoma, and Arizona.

The company said it plans to expand into new markets as it builds out its team in areas like operations, people, and technology. Stellar currently has 82 employees and aims to grow that by about 70% before the end of next year.

Along its journey, Stellar has attracted $15 million in funding. The bulk of that came from a $10 million Series A funding round it landed in April 2020 that was co-led by Austin’s S3 Ventures and San Francisco’s Brick & Mortar Ventures.

“We started this revolution six years ago because we understood and wanted to solve the challenges that residents, property managers, and contractors collectively face,” Marx said last month. “We experienced the pain of each party firsthand and knew software could change everything.”

Stellar rebrands from IFM Restoration

Stellar’s continued growth and expanded executive lineup come as the company has a new name and look. Previously called IFM Restoration—standing for Integrity First Maintenance—the company took on the Stellar name last month in a move it says will convey the “cosmic scale of opportunity” its marketplace offers to stakeholders.

“The team at Stellar is driven by our purpose to positively impact the lives of others by delivering integrity-first maintenance,” Marx said. “Combined with our steadfast determination and innovation, we’re on a continued trajectory to build world-class software to power one of the [single-family rental] market’s top managed maintenance marketplaces.”

Get on the list.
Dallas Innovates, every day.

Sign up to keep your eye on what’s new and next in Dallas-Fort Worth, every day.

One quick signup, and you’re done.

R E A D   N E X T

  • The DEC Network’s flagship event—Dallas Startup Week—will be held August 7 through August 11 both virtually and in person at SMU's Cox School of Business. Bringing together the local ecosystem’s “breadth and diversity” of corporations and startups, the Corporate Startup Innovation summit will feature Jim Adler, founding managing director of Toyota Ventures, and Steven Levy, editor at large at Wired—plus a deep dive in the funding landscape, an accelerator pitch competition, and more.

  • The startup's nail painting robot provides a "fast-casual" version of a manicure.

  • HBCU HUB, a startup focused on connecting students to recruiters at historically Black colleges and universities, is moving its headquarters to McKinney with the aid of grant funding from the McKinney Economic Development Corporation’s Innovation Fund.

  • Dallas Startup Week—The DEC Network’s annual flagship event, sponsored by Capital One—had its kickoff party Sunday at The Star in Frisco. You'll find 100+ events and sessions running Monday through Thursday, August 8-11, both online and in person at SMU’s Cox School of Business. Here you'll find Dallas Innovates' handy, one-sheet guide to each day of DSW.

  • DFW*ATW 2021 President Shanthi Rajaram

    The DFW Alliance of Technology and Women held its 19th annual Executive Forum last week, urging attendees to "crack the courage code" and empower women in business. Afterward, DFW*ATW's president, Shanthi Rajaram, spoke with Dallas Innovates about her takeaways from the event—and how being "comfortable with the unknown" helped her start her own entrepreneurship journey.