Business

YC startup Homejoy embarks on global mission to free people from housework

Image Credit: Homejoy Facebook

Homejoy wants to do your dirty work for you.

The Y Combinator startup expanded its home cleaning service into Canada today, marking the first step in its international expansion.

Housework sucks, but it is necessary. Sweeping floors, vacuuming carpets, scrubbing sinks, dusting surfaces, and keeping everything in its place requires a significant amount of time and effort, but avoiding those chores can lead to squalor. Homejoy’s service connects people with professional home cleaners through an easy-to-use platform that streamlines the process of finding and booking home cleanings. Clients enter a few basic details about their home, select a convenient time, and for $20 an hour, a vetted cleaner will take care of the dirty work. The cleaners are personally selected for a client’s needs, and all are bonded and insured, background checked, interviewed in-person, and must receive good reviews to stay on-staff.

This situation is not only convenient for the home owner/renter, but also for service providers, who can more easily find work. Homejoy has partnered with over 500 cleaners around the country to match them with jobs. It uses sharing economy principles to connect un- or under-employed people with opportunities to make money along the lines of Lyft, TaskRabbit, and Exec (which offers a competing service).

Professional housecleaning services have been around for a long time, but in the past you looked for them using the phone book, online listings, or word-of-mouth recommendations. The booking process was inconvenient and the services could be unreliable, as well as expensive. Homejoy has improved the existing process by creating a more well designed, well managed alternative.

Homejoy launched in San Francisco in July 2012 and has expanded into 22 markets within the last six months. It chose Toronto as its first international market because it is filled with students and young professionals — Homejoy’s primary audience. Toronto also has a thriving startup scene, which presents opportunities to grow Homejoy’s employee perks program, where companies can offer home cleaning as an added benefit.

It was founded by brother-sister duo Aaron and Adora Cheung and now has more than 60 employees nationwide. Homejoy has raised $1.7 million in seed funding from Andreessen Horowitz, Max Levchin, First Round Capital, Paul Buchheit, Resolute.vc, and others. It is based in San Francisco.


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