Since procuring $50 million Series C venture capital funding in November 2015, two Harvard Business School graduates and founders of Handy, formerly Handybook, have been busy perfecting their model, screening professional cleaning services, refining their ordering process and building support services. Receiving an unexpected boost when chief competitor Homegrown unexpectedly closed its doors, Handy’s founders Umang Dua and CEO Olsin Hanrahan, have focused on their 28-city service portfolio before broadening the company’s reach.
But, new refinements and services (see, https://www.handy.com/services), such as new furniture assembly and shopping have complimented Handy’s existing housecleaning services quite nicely. With more than 1 million bookings, the future looks bright for the Uber-like model that lists customer specifications, including rooms to be cleaned and other needs, before posting the job online for bids from approved contractors.
After ironing out support systems and improving technology to manage customer relations and screening their pro service providers, Handy now stands atop the online housecleaning booking industry. The future looks bright for the New York City-based startup even as the founders have resisted the temptation to widen their service areas.
One of the biggest advancements was implementing Handy’s robust onboarding strategy in January 2016 and improving customer service, including complaint processing. Since launching in 2012, the founders have acquired two former competitors, Mopp and Exec, and seen Homework fail while Handy’s market share continues to increase.
Like most housecleaning and home service businesses, Handy has experienced its share of growing pains while learning how to convert complaints to continuous profit centers. The founders turned the corner by outsourcing customer service and implementing its proprietary virtual onboarding on a city-by-city basis.
Demand has been strong and technology has helped reduce company overhead. Kudos to the founding entrepreneurs for their ingenuity, perseverance and for the resourcefulness to recognize the need for improvements and for then implementing new systems while meeting strong demand in the home service and housecleaning sector.