Cleaning up the mess

Cleaning up the mess

Services

Operating in an extremely unorganised sector, Matrix Partners-backed Housejoy aims to revolutionise the home maintenance and repair industry through service aggregation. From the current level of 4,000 orders a day it seeks to complete 1,00,000 jobs per day in the next one and half years.

Sunil Goel, Arjun Kumar and Saran Chatterjee

Be it plumbing, electrical complaints or just a good scrub down, every household has such perennial needs. But finding the right service people can be a challenge for several reasons including timeliness, quality and commitment. It doesn’t help that this is a highly disorganised sector made up primarily of individuals who have no structured way of working.

In recent times, there have been efforts to organise this space and one such venture that hopes to change the way things work is Bengaluru-based Housejoy. Started by Sunil Goel and Arjun Kumar, two professionals with varied experience in marketing and management, it piloted in Bengaluru before it was officially launched in January 2015. Since its inception, Housejoy has expanded to 11 cities, including Chennai, Mumbai and Ahmedabad.

“Matrix Partners believed in the idea and has been deeply involved from the beginning,” explains Saran Chatterjee, CEO, Housejoy. Chatterjee has experience working in product development and expansion during his earlier stint at Flipkart as its VP product management. He was roped in by the founders to provide the management bandwidth needed to expand quickly.


Housejoy currently fulfills more than 4,000 orders a day and has partnered with more than 10,000 service providers across 11 cities on its platform.


Spanning the service range

Housejoy provides an aggregation of services ranging from maintenance and home repairs to plumbing, electrical services, home cleaning and computer repairs. It has also introduced specialised services in beauty and in-house bridal make-up as part of its plans to expand its portfolio. Laundry and dry cleaning, with pickup and delivery services, are also available.

The company currently fulfills more than 4,000 orders a day, and has partnered with more than 10,000 service providers across eleven cities on its platform.

“Such growth has been possible because of the US $4 million funding in a Series A from Matrix Partners,” explains Chatterjee. The company raised $23 million in a Series B led by Amazon, which included new investors Vertex Ventures, Qualcomm and Ru-Net Technology Partners and existing investors Matrix Partners. Its Series B will be used to expand and strengthen its position in existing markets.

The key areas the company will focus on are establishing the right team for onboarding, ensuring growth and using technology to manage its services for smooth functioning.

Building the ecosystem 

The company has a team of 350 across the cities and partners with the service fraternity, except for its beauty line, where it has its own team. “The service people also share platforms, that is, they work with other organisations in this space. That is not the differentiator for us at this stage,” explains Chatterjee. The current focus is to strengthen Housejoy’s customer base to make it worthwhile for the service partners to stick to its platform in the long term.

Hence, the focus is on driving demand generation. Digital marketing and focused efforts to get repeat orders from existing customers, ATL and BTL activities to acquire new customers, these are some of the strategies the company works on. Referrals and loyalty programmes are some of its other methods used to retain a loyal customer base.

“Different markets need different marketing strategies. In smaller markets, digital marketing may not work and we need to advertise on radio, television and newspapers. In large cities like New Delhi and Mumbai, fulfilling demand can be a challenge. More localised and focused campaigning is needed,” points out Chatterjee.

In the future 

“We have our work cut out for the next 12 months to 18 months,” says Chatterjee. In the next three years, the company wants to be the largest and most dominant player in the field, by becoming the most trusted brand in this space. Housejoy aims to revolutionise the market and shift the behavior of service providers. “This goal is comparable to how organising cab drivers has changed and that industry has evolved,” he says, drawing an apt parallel.

At the moment, the company has sufficient funding to chart its immediate course. In the near future, it will look to solve deep operational issues, make strategic acquisitions, forge partnerships and build its team. Housejoy has a clear goal set as over the next year and a half; it seeks to complete 1,00,000 jobs per day and have on its platform over 50,000 service providers.


Snapshot

Venture: Housejoy

Founders: Sunil Goel, Arjun Kumar

Year: 2015

Investors: Matrix Partners, Amazon, Vertex Ventures, Qualcomm and Ru-Net Technology Partners

Industry: Service aggregation for home maintenance and repairs

Blurb: Housejoy currently fulfills more than 4,000 orders a day and has partnered with more than 10,000 service providers across 11 cities on its platform.


Concept in brief 

Organising the cleaning services sector

While there are several plumbers, electricians and other service providers in the market, they are never there when one needs them. Timeliness of services provided and quality remain points of concern for most consumers.  Sunil Goel and Arjun Kumar realised the need to organise the sector and started Housejoy in January 2015. The company has received two rounds of funding, Series A worth US$4 million from Matrix Partners and a Series B amounting to US$23 million from Amazon, Vertex Ventures, Qualcomm, Ru-Net Technology Partners and Matrix Partners. It currently fulfills more than 4,000 orders a day and has partnered with more than 10,000 service providers across 11 cities. Digital marketing, ATL and BTL are some of the ways in which Housejoy is marketing its services. Its ultimate goal is to revolutionise the market by organising service providers and changing the way they behave.

Meera Srikant has been working with publishers and publications since 1993, writing and editing articles, features and stories across topics. She also blogs and writes poems, novels and short stories during leisure. Writing for The Smart CEO since 2010, she is also a classical dancer.

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