Homejoy announces plans for growth with $38 million in new venture capital.
With improving the customer experience a growing trend and one expected to dominate in 2014, San Francisco-based Homejoy, Inc. and its investors are expecting big things. In December, the Y Combinator graduate announced that it had added $38 million to its initial seed funding of $2 million.
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While Homejoy may look like a cleaning company to consumers, it is actually a marketplace that matches consumers with independent cleaners. Homejoy manages all of the consumer contact and pays the contractor once the work is completed. All of this is managed via mobile applications for both the consumer and the cleaner.
This rapidly-developing business model is based on Homejoy’s belief that:
– Customers, especially the younger generations, enjoy the efficient searchability and comparability, affordable pricing, and pleasant experience of the tech-enabled process of finding a cleaner.
– Cleaning technicians appreciate being vetted and especially enjoy the ability to specify their service area, days, and times available.
While certainly competing with other similar marketplaces like Care.com and Handybook.com, Homejoy is also competing for both your customers and your cleaning technicians. Customers find the ease of comparison, seeing the face of their technician, and the lower prices more appealing than even calling five different cleaning companies for an over-the-phone price check. And more concerning is that cleaning technicians may find the flexibility of Homejoy’s options more appealing than the set hours and procedures of a private cleaning company.
Since its launch in 2012, Homejoy’s network of cleaners has grown to over 1000, with hubs in 31 cities across North America, including Canada. According to CEO Adora Cheung, with the new venture funding, the company plans to:
– Expand its services beyond house cleaning to include other home-based services
– Enlarge its service areas to include the suburbs of major hubs
– Launch in international markets beyond North America
In addition, Homejoy established The Homejoy Foundation in December 2013 to provide home services to those in need, especially veterans.