Toronto-based Jiffy, which connects homeowners with vetted home professionals in real time, announced that it’s closed $1 million in funding.
This is the company’s second round of financing; its last round of funding was just a little over a month after launch, the company secured a $500,000 seed round.
“Early on when we started the business, we were running very lean and everyone here had their hands in everything,” said Jaimie Grossman, co-founder of Jiffy. “We really focused on building great tech, so when we released it to the public the first iteration worked. After raising the money we set on a plan to ensure that it would last and we could build a business that worked in Toronto. And we stuck to that plan.”
Participants in this round include Hedgewood, as well as angel investors like Bert Amato, Bryan Kerdman, and the Kimel family. Jiffy plans to use the funding to expand the company’s presence in Toronto, and invest in expanding to its second market — Chicago.
“Across North America, we’re looking for cities that have young homeowners that are comfortable with tech,” said Jiffy co-founder Ryan Shupak. “Chicago is similar to Toronto but one thing that makes it unique is that it’s a hub for the whole midwest. So folks from Michigan, Ohio, and Wisconsin will go to Chicago to start their careers and their families. So it’s got a bunch of young homeowners and those are the type of people that make most compelling customers.”
Shupak also mentions that, unlike Toronto, Chicago is more neighbourhood-based; while in Toronto someone knows if they’re in Parkdale or Leaside, the borders are more delineated in Chicago. “We wanted to find a city with similar strong communities within the city.”
Jiffy allows homeowners to search through home professionals in 24 categories — including garage door repair, mobile tire changes, and painting — rather than having to comb through several sites providing reviews on contractors before coming to a decision. For contractors, the app allows them to more easily find customers and have the payments process handled for them. “For the small jobs around the house, homeowners just want to get the job done ASAP by someone good. It’s not something where it’s worthwhile reading countless reviews and then pay cash or cheque the old school way,” said Shupak.
Besides expanding to Chicago, the company also plans on investing money into marketing to grow the platform’s contractor base as well as product development. The company is also working on partnerships, but declined to be specific.
“We didn’t make the mistake where startups wait too long to raise money, and suddenly they’re about to run out of money and they’re desperate. We wanted to ensure we raised before that happened, and we were in a good position to grow new markets,” said Shupak. “Our business model is unlike a lot of startups; we make money the right way, and it helps us grow knowing we have tens of thousands of net revenue coming to us. And we’re not quite break even, but if the focus is 100 percent on profitability we could find it a lot sooner given the business were in, as opposed to one that relies on getting to huge scale before making any money.”