Hassle.com, a start-up based in London that has been co-founded by Irishwoman Jules Coleman and which has raised US$6m from Silicon Valley venture firm Accel Partners, has begun its international expansion in Dublin.
Hassle.com is disrupting the cleaning services market by making it possible for city-dwelling workers to hire a cleaner in a very similar fashion to booking a cab on the app Hailo.
Former Accenture executive Coleman established the company in 2011 with friends Alex Depledge and Tom Nimmo.
After Coleman spent six months teaching herself Ruby on Rails, the TechStars programme in London accepted the start-up and its initial idea of serving 25 different categories got whittled down to just one: cleaning.
The company won the Start-up of the Year at the Tech City Awards in 2013.
Jules Coleman, founder of Hassle.com
“The idea came to me initially when I was searching for a piano teacher in London and I thought about a lot of other services that people struggle to find usually by word of mouth. My father was a driving instructor so I knew there was always a gap between word of mouth and finding what you need in a newspaper or directory,” Coleman explained.
A polished approach
Hassle.com works by users simply typing in their area code and browsing through cleaner profiles and customer reviews before shortlisting the cleaners that best suit their needs.
Users would pay €12 an hour, with a minimum of two hours per week. Hassle.com would retain €2 of the fee as commission with the remainder going to the cleaner.
The platform encourages customers to build relationships with the cleaner who has a chance to bid for work in his or her local area via the platform.
Hassle.com’s country manager for Ireland Patrick Walsh said Ireland has been chosen to spearhead the company’s international expansion because it is English-speaking and in the Eurozone.
“Dublin is also a city of early adopters, with a young worker population that works in companies such as Google, Facebook and Twitter. They work all the time and don’t necessarily want to be cleaning the bathroom on their Saturday morning off.”
Hassle.com has established offices near the Ha’penny Bridge in Dublin and has a staff of three with more hires to come shortly.
Walsh said the company has a rigorous five-stage vetting process to ensure cleaners are professional and trustworthy, and assessment continues for a period after they begin working for clients.
So far, 100 cleaners have been vetted and more than 500 have applied to be part of Hassle.com.
Coleman said Hassle.com provides cleaners with iPhone and Android apps to manage their interactions with customers and to bill and take on assignments.
She said the consumer-facing side of Hassle.com is based on responsive design but iPhone and Android apps will be coming soon.
Women Invent Tomorrow is Silicon Republic’s campaign to champion the role of women in science, technology, engineering and maths. It has been running since March 2013, and is kindly supported by Accenture Ireland, Intel, the Irish Research Council, ESB, Twitter, CoderDojo and Science Foundation Ireland.