This NYC Startup Raised $50M to Clean Your House




Pipes break, houses get dirty, and paint wears off. This is a simple rule we all have to live with and there’s no way around it. But what we can control is what we do to remedy these inconveniences. Handy, the app that lets you book a cleaner/fixer/painter and more, should be your go to place. Coming off their one-millionth booking, they are looking to perfect the home-services industry for everyone. Spare yourself from the ridiculous amounts of online reviews and hassle at other sites, and book a professional and trusted cleaner in less than a minute.

With fresh capital in the bank, CEO Oisin Hanrahan, tells AlleyWatch about their funding round and their plans to expand.

Who were your investors and how much did you raise?

On November 2nd, Handy announced its $50m Series C funding round led by Fidelity. Fidelity joins our existing investors, TPG Growth, General Catalyst, Highland Capital and Revolution Growth in helping us realize our vision to change the way the world uses home services.

Tell us about your product or service.

Handy is the easiest way to keep your home in order. Started in 2012 and formerly known as Handybook, the company was founded by Oisin Hanrahan and Umang Dua as a practical solution to an age-old problem: finding trusted, effective professionals for common household services. Handy instantly connects individuals with top-quality, pre-screened independent professionals around the world, offering home cleaning and handyman services. With a seamless 60-second booking process, secure payment, and a 100% money-back guarantee, Handy is the premiere, trusted platform for busy people everywhere to book home services.

What inspired you to start the company?

I met Umang, my co-founder, while at business school in Boston. We struggled to find cleaners we could trust to tidy up our messy, college-style apartment, and spent an inordinate amount of time reading online reviews and negotiating over pricing. We recognized a lot of flaws in the market, and as consumers, we wanted those problems to be fixed. So we created Handy as an alternative, on-demand solution, allowing consumers to find a cleaning or repair professional in under a minute.

How is it different?

Handy, based in New York City, instantly connects consumers with professionals who provide home services, including home cleaning, handyman repairs, painting, plumbing and furniture assembly, through its mobile and online platform across 28 cities. In June, the company announced that it had surpassed 1 million cumulative bookings, 80 percent of which were driven by loyal, repeat customers. Every month, over 10,000 independent professionals complete over 100,000 bookings. In the past year, the company has also expanded offerings, including comprehensive services for vacation and casual rental hosts and furniture assembly and delivery.

What market you are targeting and how big is it?

The home services market has been valued at over $800 billion, and the old models for providing these services are broken and inefficient. Most people who have tried to find a cleaner, handyman or plumber before would agree it’s a clunky experience. Between figuring out who the right provider is, scheduling a convenient time, negotiating on price, dealing with insurance, and ensuring quality matches your expectation, customers are in for a tedious, time-consuming experience.

What’s your business model?

Handy connects consumers with the best home professionals at the tap of a button. In connecting both, we provide the professional with the flexibility and independence to run their own business, and the consumer the satisfaction of a trusted brand with experienced professionals doing the work. The entire process takes less than a minute, utilizing technology to deliver an on-demand solution that we know our consumers love.

What factors about your business led your investors to write the check?

We recently announced the completion of our one millionth booking, and are on track to be on a $100 million GMV run-rate in Q3 of this year. We have grown 12x in the last 18 months, and every passing week is usually our biggest week ever. Handy is now used by 100,000 homes every month and we expect to make over $1 billion in annual GMV by 2018. We’ve also found that 30% of Handy’s cleaning customers have never booked a cleaner before. We are not just capturing market share, but enlarging the market by introducing an easier, more seamless experience.

What are the milestones you plan to achieve in the next six months?

Our strategy has been focused on expanding within cities. Our goal is to reach a saturation point in each local market we’re in first before expanding to new cities. This ties back to our focus on scale – we want to have enough pros on-boarded to ensure a great customer experience. Once we reach that point in a city, we then will consider expanding into new markets.

We spend a lot of time thinking about the markets we want to expand to and how we can offer the best possible service. Our vision isn’t just to build a home cleaning and repair service company, but a brand that takes care of your entire home.

The strong repeat usage and demand we’ve seen with Handy proves there is a huge opportunity ahead to continue building our one-stop on-demand platform for home services. Looking ahead, we’re focused on continually building out our core team and operations efforts throughout our 37 locations in the US, Canada and UK to enhance user experience for professionals and customers around the world.

What advice can you offer companies in New York that do not have a fresh injection of capital in the bank?

Even before we were actually looking to raise capital, we started talking to investors and building relationships. This gives people time to track your progress and get to know the team a little better. The factors that helped us get investors on board early on was the market size for our service offerings, the advantage of being an early player, and that we had actual customers supporting us. Nothing convinces investors more that showing a real product with real customers.

Where do you see the company going now over the near term?

From building more self-serve features that give customers the tools they need to manage their bookings and reducing cancellations to improving our customer service, a number of changes will be rolled out in the coming few months. On the supply side, we want to focus on maximizing the earning potential for all service professionals while giving them the flexibility and support they need to manage their business. We want to make sure Handy is a more pleasurable experience for all customers and professionals, and are excited by the improvements in the pipeline.

About the author: AlleyWatch

AlleyWatch is the destination for startup news; opinions and reviews; investment and product information; events reported, experienced, seen, heard and overheard here in New York. But it’s who we are that makes us different: we’re the writers and the entrepreneurs; the investors and the mentors; the lawyers and the marketers; the realtors and the recruiters – the people who work in the industry.

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