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Irish entrepreneur Oisin Hanrahan secures $30 million investment for Handybook

Friday, June 13th, 2014

30 year old Irish entrepreneur Oisin Hanrahan, founder of New York based Handybook has just announced a Series B funding round of $30 million in one of the largest investments in an Irish led startup this year. Handybook is a platform for booking home-improvement and cleaning services.

This investment follows hot on the heels of a $10 million round secured earlier this year. This Series B has been led by former AOL chairman Steve Case’s Revolution Growth investment fund and further capital from previous investors General Catalyst Partners and Highland Capital Partners.

Dublin born Hanrahan is a finalist in the EY Entrepreneur of the Year competition this year, dropped out of one of the most prestigious universities in the world to build Handybook. Hanrahan had been attending the MBA programme at Harvard which includes prominent Irish executives Margaret Molloy (CMO Siegel+Gale) and Stephen McIntyre (Twitter) among its graduates. Hanrahan founded Handybook with Harvard roommate Umang Dua.

This investment capital will be used to keep pace with the rapid growth the company is experiencing. Handybook has grown from 50 employees at the start of the year to just under 100 employees currently.

IrishCentral recently caught up with a very busy Oisin Hanrahan to answer some questions about one of the fastest growing Irish led startups in the world.

What kind of changes did the company/product go through in early stages?

Any company goes through iterations and Handybook was no different. We are incredibly proud of our product, including our mobile app and have been further validated by the number of users interacting with the service each day. We are constantly striving to provide the best customer experience and continue to roll out new updates to improve the Handybook experience.

What kind of growth has your company experienced?

We’re experiencing incredible growth; bookings have grown 60% month over month during 2014.

How many customers do you have now?

The Handybook website and Handybook mobile app handles over 10,000 bookings a week in 26 cities across North America.

Tell us about your industry: What was it like to break into?

The home service industry is an antiquated industry that has traditionally seen very little innovation. For years, finding a cleaner involved combing through Yelp reviews or asking friends for recommendations, then calling professionals to negotiate pricing and discuss availability. With Handybook, we streamline the process so you can find a trusted, background-checked cleaner in under a minute.

How many employees do you have now?

We have just under 100 employees and thousands of freelancers across North America.

What’s the biggest challenge you’ve faced so far? The greatest victory?

We’ve put a lot of focus over the past year on scaling the business. We built this company from the ground-up, starting in Boston and now we are in 25 markets. As we continue to expand into new markets, we consistently work to ensure our customers have the best service possible.

It’s been great seeing our thousands of professionals build their customer base, develop their own flexible work schedule and work independently. Handybook provides a platform where our professionals can maximize their earning potential without spending time on the difficult back-end logistics including marketing, finances and scheduling that was formerly so time consuming.

What’s been the most important lesson?

The importance of customer service itself cannot be overstated No matter how sleek a website or app is, if you don’t have a great customer service team, customers won’t come back and that’s what we’re most proud of, our staggering number of repeat customers. We’ve seen a real need for Handybook as evidenced by our growth that has exceeded beyond our wildest dreams.

What are your plans for 2014?

A year ago in May 2013, Handybook was in three cities: Boston, New York and San Francisco. Today, we’re in 25 cities across North America including the 12 we just launched in April: Toronto, Baltimore, Portland (OR), Sacramento, San Antonio, Orlando, San Jose, Las Vegas, Phoenix, Austin, Tampa and Denver. We look forward to continue to provide great service in these existing markets while always looking at potential growth opportunities.

What international markets do you foresee the company expanding into?

At the moment, we’re focusing on the 25 North American markets we’re in, but we’re always looking to serve more customers and listen to demand. ·

What advice do you have for other people/companies starting out in your industry?

One of the best pieces of advice I’ve received was “focus on the people.” I’ve really taken this to heart and believe that Handybook is truly the sum of its parts, the parts here being our tremendous team.

 

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Ad Firm Designs a Fun Office for Grownups

Friday, June 13th, 2014

Credit Google with turning the workplace into a gigantic dorm room. After the tech giant opened its Googleplex in 2006, seemingly every startup and creative agency tore down walls and installed a foosball table. But does an office have to look fun to be a fun place to work? Not according to Wieden+Kennedy, which took a decidedly different tack for its New York digs.

The agency, best known for its work on campaigns, has also earned a reputation for daring interior design. A human-size bird’s nest in its Portland, Ore., home earned it a Portlandia spoof. Its New York HQ has none of that whimsy; it is more upscale loft than romper room. Open-plan desks remain, but so do a diverse array of conference spots that accommodate meetings of different styles and lengths — from small, intimate “phonebooths” to large “wide-n-long” conference rooms.

Full details on :  http://mashable.com/2014/06/12/wieden-kennedy-office-design/

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Dublin entrepreneur bags €22m for web startup

Thursday, June 12th, 2014

An Irish entrepreneur has raised $30m (€22m) in funding for what is being described as the ‘Airbnb of home handyman services’.

Dubliner Oisin Hanrahan has landed the huge round of investment for the company he co-founded, Handybook.

Handybook is an online service where people can book a cleaner, plumber or general handyman quickly at an agreed price.

Hanrahan said that they would use the money to keep building the company out.

“We have 140 people in the team today and we’ll probably scale that a little more,” he told Independent.ie. “We’ll double the size of our mobile team as we’re seeing more people move toward mobile than ever before.”

Hanrahan said that the strength of the business model was its simplicity.

“It’s as simple as Hailo or Uber,” he said. “The only other way to do this is to respond to ads on Craigslist or similar services.”

He said that the service has been jumped on by handymen and tradesmen.

“For the handyman, you just claim the job,” he said. “It’s like an ATM in your pocket. We’ve got thousands of handymen using the service now.”

Although currently only available in the US and Canada, Hanrahan said that a move to European cities, including Dublin, was a logical step in the future.

“We think this is a service that is applicable in most major services in the world,” he said. “It’s not US restricted. We’ll look at other cities in time. But right now we don’t really need to add lots more cities to grow the company. We’re growing 10pc week over week and are now seven times bigger than we were at the beginning of the year.”

Having formerly helped to run the Dublin-based service miCandidate, Hanrahan left Harvard Business School after just a year to start the company with co-founder Umang Dua. The startup bagged €7m in funding late last year, bringing its combined financial backing to $42m (€29m) in just two years. It now employs 130 people.

Hanrahan, a TCD economics graduate, worked in real estate in Eastern Europe before working on startups with Paddy Cosgrave, the founder of Dublin’s Web Summit. He also worked in venture capital with Accel Partners in London.

- See more at: http://www.independent.ie/business/technology/news/dublin-entrepreneur-bags-22m-for-web-startup-30347238.html#sthash.MzQb3qML.dpuf

 

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