Helpling sets sights on Canadian expansion with new mobile app

Helpling logo

Whether you live alone, with roommates or a significant other, having the time (or the energy) to clean always seems to be in short supply. Unless you have a system in place, the conversation usually starts with “which part of my home do I clean first?”

Fortunately, Helpling is here to, well… help.

Founded in January 2014 in Berlin, Germany, Helpling connects homeowners and tenants to home cleaning professionals in their city. Although they’re only a year and a half old, their global footprint is impressive for such a young startup: Helpling currently operates in 200+ cities and 12 countries around the world, including Australia, Sweden, France, Italy, and Dubai, with “thousands of homes [cleaned] every day.” The company launched in Canada December of last year, targeting Toronto as its launch destination.

Started by Benedikt Franke and Philip Huffmann, Helpling has raised USD $62 million to date, and recently raised $45 million in a Series B round of financing led by Lakestar, Kite Ventures, Lukasz Gadowski and Rocket Internet (Helpling’s parent company) to scale their operations across the globe.

Helpling vets home cleaning professionals (referred to as “cleaning partners”), and subjects each applicant to a rigorous qualifying process to ensure each cleaning partner is the best possible fit. “If that [the multi-stage interview process] goes well, we then ask them to submit to us a criminal background check, as well as two references that we verify,” said Blake Connoy, Managing Director at Helpling Canada.

Connoy stressed that each cleaning partner is an independent contractor and is under no obligation to accept a job they’ve been offered, similar to how other peer-to-peer apps (such as Uber) work. Cleaning partners earn $20/hour, while Helpling takes 20% of the final invoice as a referral fee and to cover its infrastructure costs. All cleaning partners are insured up to CAD $3 million in the event property is damaged during a cleaning job. Connoy asserts that with over 1,000 jobs completed in Toronto since Helpling’s launch, there have been no major insurance claims made.

Helpling

Booking an appointment can be done via Helpling’s website up to 36 hours before you need a cleaner to arrive – perfect for last-minute visits from mom. Earlier this week, Helpling launched a free mobile app for iOS and Android as a complement to its website booking capabilities. The Helpling app connects with calendar apps, allows for single or recurring bookings, shows when a preferred cleaner is available (through a location-based algorithm) and allows users to pay via a credit credit.

In addition to Toronto (with approximately 60 cleaning partners on the system), Helpling is in a number of other Canadian markets, including Burlington, Hamilton, Oakville, Mississauga, Brampton, Vaughan, Richmond Hill, and Markham. “In the next few weeks, we should be bringing on a few more cleaning partners out towards the east end of the city and a bit in the northern part of the GTA,” said Connoy.

“Our entire platform is based upon the availability of our partners and where they choose to work,” he continued. “Right now, we have pretty fantastic coverage through most of the GTA. Over the rest of the summer, we’ll come into cities like London and Ottawa, and then hopefully by early fall, we’re looking at a simultaneous expansion throughout the rest of the major cities in Canada.”

Justin Kozuch

Justin Kozuch

Justin Kozuch is a Toronto-based technology reporter covering startups, mobile and marketing. When not staring into his computer screen, he can be found exploring the Ontario backcountry, reading a book or enjoying a scotch.