Homejoy expands, starts foundation

Homejoy, a startup that was part of the Y Combinator class of Summer 2010, has expanded its services and launched a foundation. The company provides home cleaning services and has expanded to offer other home services like handyman work and carpet cleaning. The foundation aims to provide support to individuals and organizations that promote education, environmental sustainability, and community development. Homejoy’s expansion and foundation demonstrate the company’s commitment to providing quality home services while also giving back to the community.

Homejoy expands, starts foundation

Homejoy, a home cleaning startup, has recently expanded its services and established a foundation. The foundation will support charitable organizations that are dedicated to improving the lives of those in need. Homejoy’s expansion includes new offerings such as deep cleaning and carpet cleaning services, making it easier for customers to maintain a clean home. With the establishment of their foundation, Homejoy is taking steps towards giving back to the community and making a positive impact beyond just their business operations.

In just over a year, a startup based in San Francisco that links professional house cleaners with clients through an online platform has grown to serve over 30 markets in the United States and Canada. Adora Cheung, aged 30, serves as the Chief Executive Officer of Homejoy, a venture she co-founded with her younger brother Aaron Cheung, aged 25, in July 2012 with the backing of Y Combinator. Prior to Homejoy, they experimented with other business endeavors.

Adora Cheung mentioned that they set a rate of $20 per hour for customers, which is significantly lower than the standard market rate for house cleaning services. Additionally, the siblings, who hail from South Carolina, have established a nonprofit organization called the Homejoy Foundation. This foundation collaborates with various groups to offer assistance in establishing, enhancing, or sustaining a joyful home environment. At present, the foundation’s primary focus is on supporting veterans and military families. The founders claim that Homejoy has provided employment opportunities for individuals who were either underemployed or jobless. The company’s San Francisco branch currently employs approximately 50 people.

Homejoy Foundation

Homejoy recently established the Homejoy Foundation, which focuses on supporting initiatives for veterans and their families. The foundation is a nonprofit organization that aims to give back to those who have served our country by providing financial assistance and other resources. This move showcases Homejoy’s commitment to social responsibility and highlights the importance of giving back to communities. By supporting veterans, Homejoy hopes to make a positive impact in the lives of those who have sacrificed so much for our country.

How did the company come about?

 In 2009, my brother Aaron and I began collaborating. Our goal was to launch a startup, and for nearly three years, we developed products without success. As both engineers, we sought a tidy workspace for improved productivity. Initially, we considered hiring a cleaner online, weighing the options of a highly skilled professional or using Craigslist. While agencies charged $40 to $60 per hour, Craigslist offered more affordable rates, albeit with uncertain quality. Despite finding reputable agencies, their workers were underpaid and operated inefficiently. To understand the cleaners’ requirements, I took a position at one of these companies. Our aim was to create a platform for them to secure jobs without the need for self-promotion.

What would you say the mission of the company is?

The social goal is to ensure that everyone has a happy home, recognizing that people spend a significant amount of their lives at work or at home. There is a need to prioritize making home life more fulfilling, allowing individuals to pursue activities such as spending time with their children. For example, if someone aspires to become a successful author, they should dedicate their time to writing. One objective is to help busy individuals save time, while another is to offer employment opportunities to those who have been unable to market their services, thus bringing stability to their lives and enabling them to afford housing. Additionally, the Homejoy Foundation has recently been established to provide grants to non-profit organizations and create volunteer prospects for emerging businesses.

Homejoy expands, starts foundation Images

Homejoy expands, starts foundation

Who are your competitors?

Task Rabbit and Handybook are two startups that focus primarily on cleaning.

What differentiates your company?

We have a deep understanding of the cleaning sector, allowing us to set a rate of $20 per hour based on a clear grasp of the associated expenses.

What’s your favorite part about running your own startup?

Interacting with numerous intelligent and motivated individuals while collaborating to achieve the common objective of creating happier homes.

What advice do you have for other entrepreneurs?

I believe the most important thing is to remain persistent and to execute effectively by putting in the hard work.

Hot Startup Homejoy Cleans Up America

Homejoy, based in San Francisco, provides house cleaning services for $20 per hour. Despite not being perceived as glamorous, the booming business of Homejoy suggests that many Americans prefer not to do the cleaning themselves. The company currently offers affordable cleaning services in 31 cities and has recently secured a $38 million funding round led by Google Ventures, Redpoint Ventures, and PayPal cofounder Max Levchin, indicating promising returns for investors. Cofounder and CEO Adora Cheung, who established Homejoy with her brother Aaron, expresses that building a company is more enjoyable than starting one.

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The concept developed when the Cheungs, who are both coders, recognized that cleaning had remained essentially the same since the 1960s. They proceeded to establish a service that connects verified cleaners with clients. All cleanings are bonded and insured, with Homejoy providing a free re-clean if customers are not satisfied. The company compensates its cleaners at a rate of about $12 per hour, resulting in narrow profit margins but fair wages.

The cleaning company, which is one year old, has raised nearly $40 million in total funds and is now planning to expand into suburban areas. According to Cheung, the company received more funding than expected due to a high level of investor interest and decided to take advantage of the opportunity with the right partners. As a graduate of the Y Combinator incubator, Homejoy aims to broaden its services and become the go-to solution for home repairs.

Cheung explained that they aim to become a great global company, not just a great North American company. Homejoy needs to scale rapidly to succeed, staying ahead of competitors like Handybook, MerryMaids.com, and Care.com. Redpoint Ventures’ founding partner, Geoff Yang, expressed strong belief in the potential of home services for internet scheduling and delivery.

Homejoy has established its own 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, the Homejoy Foundation, with the goal of improving the living conditions of veterans and military families through the donation of cleaning services and a portion of its earnings. “I believe there comes a time when startups reach a certain size and level of prominence that allows them to contribute to a greater cause – we see it as our social obligation to give back,” Cheung stated.

Why did Homejoy fail?

Poor worker retention: Several reasons contributed to Homejoy’s struggle to retain high-quality cleaners, including lower pay than competitors and disintermediation whereby workers set up direct cleaning arrangements with clients. Some cleaners attracted enough customers to start small cleaning businesses.

What did Homejoy do?

Homejoy was an online platform which connected customers with home service providers, including house cleaners and handymen.

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