On Thursday, Germany-based Rocket Internet’s Helpling, a startup that connects customers with cleaners acquired its rival London-based cleaning company Hassle for $35.5 million.
Founded by German entrepreneurs Benedikt Franke and Philip Huffmann, Helpling is one of the Europe’s fastest-growing companies that provides local house-cleaners. Users sign up and are then connected with pre-approved cleaners through the platform. It has a mobile booking app for iOS and Android users. Since its launch in 2014, it has raised more than $62 million in funding.
The startup follows a business model shaped by its investor, German startup incubator Rocket Internet. In a short span of time, the startup has expanded to different countries like Singapore, Australia and Canada to have an international presence. It operates in more than 200 cities globally. Now with the acquisition of Hassle, it gets a strong grip of the UK market too.
Benedikt Franke, co-founder of Helpling said the rivals had grown closer in recent months as they were moving towards competing in each other’s territories . So eventually they decided to merge rather than making use of tons of resources just to compete with each other. “The best way to go about this and to leverage this potential was to join forces,” he said
Coleman, who comes from Leixlip, will soon take the position of chief product officer for the whole group. She will be based between London and Berlin, where the startup has its headquarters. Coleman’s co-founders Alex Depledge and Tom Nimmo will take up new roles in the company. The two companies will continue to operate as different brands for now, said Coleman. “This is not just a bolt-on acquisition. The brands will live on,” she said.
Founded in 2012, Hassle is a well-known name in the London technology and is the pioneer of the home-cleaning market. The London-headquartered startup in backed by prominent VC fund Accel Partners, after it raised a $6 million Series A round last May. The size of the startup is similar to the size of Helpling.
“Hassle.com is not only the market leader in the UK and Ireland, it also has a very sophisticated technology and has built a brand that people associate with trust, quality and safety,” said Franke. “The team has done a great job to pioneer this model and to establish Hassle.com as one of the leading home-cleaning marketplace in Europe. We are very much looking forward to working together. This partnership combines Hassle.com’s expertise with Helpling’s international footprint and access to capital. It creates a very exciting global proposition and makes our combined company the strongest player in this space.”