Silicon Valley has always sought make your household duties simpler with technology, but there’s only so much that robotic vacuums and ultrafast washing machines can do. Anything outside of floor cleaning generally requires a bit of manual labor – labor you don’t always have the time or energy to perform yourself.
That’s where Homejoy comes in. In a nutshell, the burgeoning San Francisco-based startup is basically a uber-simple maid service. Think MerryMaids or HipsterMaid but with easier web-based booking. To schedule a cleaning appointment, all you do is hop on their ridiculously simple site, enter in a few details about your house and what areas you need cleaned, and the date/time you want it to happen. Then, for $20 an hour, a professional cleaner stops by to take care of the dirty work.
Each cleaner is personally selected for a client’s needs, and all of them are bonded and insured, undergo background checks and in-person interviews, and must receive good reviews to stay on-staff. The company currently has more than 1,000 full-time employees, and is already up and running in 31 cities in the US and Canada.
Sure, a home cleaning service might not sound like the most innovative or sexy startup idea in the world, but Homejoy is a prime example of a startup that’s taken an inconvenient, fragmented, and largely offline industry and modernized it.
And the idea is catching hold. In an interview with VentureBeat, Homejoy CEO Adora Chung boasted that more than half of the company’s customers say they’ve never had their homes professionally cleaned before. If that’s accurate, it seems that the extreme ease of use, straightforward pricing, and 24-hour advance-booking that Homejoy offers is helping open up the cleaning market to new audiences.
Venture capitalists love the idea, too. The year-and-a-half-old service has just finished up two rounds of seed funding, cumulatively raising over $38 million dollars from investors like Google Ventures, Redpoint Ventures, Max Levchin, First Round Capital, Oliver Jung, and Mike Hirshland.
The money will be used to further develop the expansion to more cities, and also branch out into other home services like repairs and maintenance. Check out Homejoy’s website to see if they’re currently in your city. IF they’re not, don’t worry – they will be soon.