Unilever gives buyers of Hassle.com a Helpling hand

2 Aug 20178 Shares

Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on LinkedInShare on Google+Pin on PinterestShare on RedditEmail this to someone

Image: Sebra/Shutterstock

Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on LinkedInShare on Google+Pin on PinterestShare on RedditEmail this to someone

Helpling, the company that snapped up start-up Hassle.com in 2014, has secured significant funding from Unilever.

Unilever is a major player in the cleaning space, with brands such as Dove, Domestos and Persil in its massive portfolio.

Perhaps then, it makes a good deal of sense for its investment arm, Unilever Ventures, to buy a stake in Helpling, the German company that bought Hassle.com in 2014.

The investment follows “multiple strategic partnerships between Unilever and Helpling”, according to the two companies.

Teamwork

In the past, they have partnered on co-branded marketing campaigns, in-store cooperation, content development and the distribution of home-care products.

These partnerships have been rolled out across various markets in the past two years, including the UK, France, Singapore and the Netherlands.

“Unilever has created some of the strongest consumer brands worldwide – to leverage their assets and expertise creates a strong benefit for us,” said Benedikt Franke, co-founder of Helpling.

“The engagement of Unilever is an important mark of confidence on our path to establish Helpling as the synonym for any help at home.”

Hassle.com was co-founded in London in 2012 by Alex Depledge, Tom Nimmo and Ireland’s Jules Coleman, and expanded after raising a $6m investment from Accel Partners.

When Helpling came knocking in 2014, the trio agreed to sell to the Berlin-based home-cleaning player for an estimated €32m.

Interesting outfit

Helpling claims that more than 90pc of its customers use the service on a weekly or bi-weekly basis, creating what it calls a “unique recurring relationship”.

The investment by Unilever comes as Helpling looks to include home-care products in its offering, having expanded its service and reach consistently in the years since it bought Hassle.

Olivier Garel, head of Unilever Ventures, said: “Home services is a hugely attractive and growing sector. Helpling has proven over the last few years that it can build market leadership and achieve strong economies in this space.

“Our investment in Helpling provides access to a market that is still in the very early days with tremendous potential.”

Helpling will use the funding, which is worth “several million euros”, to invest in further automation of its online platform.

Gordon Hunt is senior communications and context executive at NDRC. He previously worked as a journalist with Silicon Republic.

editorial@siliconrepublic.com