Home cleaning marketplace Housekeep raises $1m less than seven months after launch

Tech start-up will use backing to invest in technology and launch into other home services markets

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Housekeep.com, a new start-up that connects consumers directly with vetted home cleaners in London, today announced it has raised $1m from a group of leading investors less than seven months after launch.

Founded in November 2011 by experienced angel investor Avin Rabheru – known for backing businesses including Streetcar, Kabbee and Crowdcube – Housekeep operates an online marketplace allowing Londoners to search for and book fully vetted house cleaners for a fixed price.

The start-up aims to take advantage of the £4bn home cleaning market in the UK; presently, 90% of home cleaning is arranged directly between cleaner and customer, which Housekeep claims presents a significant opportunity to establish a wider marketplace which offers greater choice for consumers.

It distinguishes itself from similar platforms such as Hassle by operating a fully managed service for customers, managing ongoing bookings and payments through its own platform rather than focusing on introductions.

The $1m funding round was led by the Pentland Group, the conglomerate that owns brands such as Speedo, JD Sports and Ellesse. Other investors in the round included Brett Akker, founder of Streetcar (later sold to Zipcar for $50m) and Kabbee founder Justin Peters, alongside other angel investors including Smedvig Capital CEO John Hewett.

It will be used to develop the technology side of the business and to quickly expand Housekeep’s offering into other home services.

Avin Rabheru, founder and chief executive of Housekeep, said: “The home cleaning industry is very antiquated, with no provider offering both strong customer service and top quality cleaning.

“We took time to understand exactly what customers want and, to be totally sure, I’ve cleaned nearly 100 homes myself in the ‘housekeeper’ role!  That experience was incredibly valuable and has guided how we recruit, train and supervise our housekeepers.

“We have had fantastic customer feedback so far, but know that scaling this high quality will be the key to building a great business. We are delighted to have such a strong investor group involved and they know we will be drawing on their expertise to help us grow the business rapidly.”

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