It is only during the festive season that one is reminded about the cleaning and maintenance projects around the house. And while most people shy away from getting them done so that they can enjoy their holidays, it also becomes difficult to find the right people to perform these tasks. Housejoy was launched in January this year to provide an aggregation of home cleaning and maintenance services to customers. HouseJoy was started by Sunil Goel and Arjun Kumar, both veterans in the industry.
Sunil has worked for over two decades in TESCO in the IT leadership team and then joined TutorVista, where he was heading operations and learning how startups function. Post his stint with TutorVista, Sunil started VUFirst, a video platform to pre-screen candidates before they are hired. It was at TutorVista that Sunil met Arjun. Arjun was running Bookadda and even raised $five million funding. Bookadda was eventually acquired by Sapna Group. Arjun has over a decade of experience in different fields including product development and payment systems at different companies.
Both founders had faced several issues with home cleaning and maintenance and understood that this field had huge potential. They spoke to vendors and customers and figured out several issues that both sides were facing. Sunil says,
“Consumers had an issue when they shared their contact details with the service provider. They get so many calls from different vendors and each will quote a different rate while customers are not even aware of the quality of their work. They have no idea about their background too.
When we met service providers, we understood that even they were not happy. They had to pay money upfront for the listing, whether they got business or not. Some said they spent half their time traveling to the ends of Bengaluru to reach customers’ houses. By the time they did reach the house, the job is sometimes already done.”
Since the company’s inception in Jan 2015, from 40-50 jobs per day, it has scaled to over 4,000 orders a day across 10 cities, including Delhi, Ahmadabad, Pune, Mumbai, Hyderabad, Jaipur, Surat, Chandigarh, Chennai and Bengaluru. It recently brought on board Saran Chatterjee, ex VP- Products, Flipkart as their CEO.
Saran explains why after a stint at Bay Area in US, he was keen on returning to India. “After coming back to India, I was expecting things to be as seamless as in the US. I had an inherent desire to solve problems, to make an impact and work for a small company. And HouseJoy was doing exactly the things I was looking for.”
At present, the company is servicing in the field of laptop, mobile phone repair, air conditioners, electronics plumbing, carpentry and laundry. It is soon looking to enter the field of home-based automobile servicing and repairing. At present, the company trains people both in terms of soft and job-based skills. For services like beauty and bridal makeup, HouseJoy has in-house people on its payroll. The company also insures the jobs done, and if any damage occurs due to an error from service provider, they insure claims up to Rs 10,000.
The company is aiming to expand to more cities and looking at achieving 1,00,000 orders a day in the next six months. It has raised $four million in Series A from Matrix Partners earlier this year. Housejoy has also launched a mobile app for Android and will be launching an app for Apple and Windows soon.
The company solves an inherent problem for a lot of people making the market for such services huge. There is a lot of scope for more startups to enter this space.
In terms of competition, there are listing companies like Justdial and there are apps like HelpChat and Bro4U which come close to what HouseJoy does.