On demand, startups have exploded in popularity over the past few years. They have acted as tools of disruption in the different markets that they have entered. From Uber and Lyft in the taxi-hailing business and the likes of Instacart and Sprig, companies that offer grocery and food delivery respectively. These companies, through apps that they offer, enable one to get a service they need at the push of a button.
In the cleaning sector, one company has stood the test of time and emerged successful over incumbents, that company is Handy. Handy was started in mid-2012 by Oisin Hanrahan and Umang Dua. Oisin and Umang met were roommates and were both taking their MBAs at Harvard. The actually got the idea when they were in their dorm room and noticed that it was untidy, and there was clutter everywhere. And so Handy was born to try and offer a solution and solve this problem they had. Ignacio Leonhardt and Weina Scott would join the company later as employees to help the founders build the platform. Handybook was one of the startups in Highland Capital’s incubator, and it is at the incubator that they developed the business.
The company was originally known as Handy on youtube and 3 months after launch it raised $2 million in funding from high profile VCs like Highland Capital and General Catalyst Ventures.Exactly a year later, the company raised $10 million and in mid-2014, raised $30 million for its Series B. It would later change its name to Handy in September of 2014. In its latest round, it raised $ 15 million in what the company described as its second B round. Most of its investors have been really impressed with the founders and their work ethic.( In its early days, the two founders would go with the cleaners to do the tasks in order to understand the problems and issues that clients and freelancers faced). Both of its founders had previous experience with startups and had started their own companies. Hanrahan has been described as the serial entrepreneur of the two having started a number of companies.
The company has acquired two startups since its inception -Exec and Mopp- to expand its operations in the West Coast and in London respectively. Handy has experienced exponential growth and 2 months ago celebrated a million bookings on the platform.
It has grown to nearly 30 cities in three different countries and has about 10,000 professionals on its platform. The company offers cleaning services and has expanded to offer handyman and plumbing services but it’s cleaning service is its most profitable and promising. It’s freelancers are paid an average wage of $18 an hour which could go up to even $22 an hour.
Handy has also embraced the need to have a mobile presence and launched the Handy app for both iOS and Android. The move to mobile has proved to be great for the company as it has streamlined payment and the booking process.