New York-based startup, Managed by Q, has secured $15 million in Series A venture funding in a bid to take its service nationwide.
Founded in 2013 by Saman Rahanian and Dan Teran, Managed by Q handles all the cleaning, maintenance and re-stocking of any business office. The startup provides an app through which the customers can book ongoing office services like weekly cleaning or refills of kitchen supplies. The company also offers on-demand services for such urgent needs like repairs on broken air conditioning systems and toilets. The service is now available in New York, Chicago and it has recently launched operations in San Francisco. The beta launch clients of the company include Shyp, Everlane, ZenPayroll and Quirky, with more than 200 additional offices on its wait list.
The ‘Q’ in the name of the company refers to James Bon character Q, the smartness behind the British spy character’s weaponry and gadgets. The idea is to motivate their employees to act like James Bond and have someone else handle keeping up their workspaces so that they can concentrate on their jobs. “We realized early on that the ‘Uber-for-X’ model would not work for the business we wanted to build. We knew that the idea of a marketplace of independent contractors could be great in some cases, but it was not a silver bullet, and it wasn’t right for our business,” said Teran.
The startup is not only strong about rapid growth but creating a company that employees want to stay at long-term. “One of the fundamental principles is that we do not have a divide between our headquarters and our labor. All of us are operators. We have office operators and field operators,” said Rahmanian. The employees are free to access to the headquarters to grab a coffee or to wait between their shifts. It also offers on-the-job training to its workers. “You can have people progress from the field into the office. If you have a divide, you are limiting their progression.”
Rahmanian also added, “No service in the world provides what we provide. Not only do we manage supplies, but we also make sure you will never ever run out of that supply again. Delivering that magic takes a lot of focus and complexity on the background, and we are only getting better and better on delivering that.”
The current funding round was led by RRE Ventures which was participated by Greycroft Partners, Homebrew, Sherpa Ventures, SV Angel and Steadfast Financial. It also includes some notable angel investors like The Honest Co, founder and actress Jessica Alba, Foursquare co-founder Naveen Selvadurai and NBA Commissioner David Stern.
The new funds have been planned by Management by Q to build the company’s San Francisco team and scale its New York and Chicago teams, and to boost the tech behind its operations. “Scaling is one of our biggest challenges,” said Teran. “Because we employ our own operators and hand-pick the highest quality service providers, we have to ensure that we maintain that level of quality in our hiring as we expand from city to city. In the early days it was easy to try a little bit of everything and be casual, and now we have to plan strategically about which piece of the opportunity we want to focus on.”
Steve Schlafman, Principal RRE Ventures said apart from expanding operations to other places and recruiting more people to the company, he expects the startup to use some of its new funds to ‘build in layers of intelligence’ to its systems that will help in forecasting what the business needs even before ordering it. This will help in giving customer suggestions about the service and what they may want next.
Until today, the startup has raised a total of $17.4 million in funding.