Swedish Startup Space

Cleaning Company Tidyapp acquires Helpling’s Failed Swedish Branch

Written by on November 6, 2015

The Rocket Internet-backed cleaning service Helpling was a short-lived story on the Swedish market. After a few months only, the company left Sweden due to reconstructions in the company, which we wrote about in October(article in Swedish).

This triggered Tidyapp’s CEO and founder Mikael Mortensen to act.

”When Helpling’s dime was up, I contacted the lads in Berlin. They were instantly interested. It’s a strategically perfect deal for us. Since we launched the app in April focus has been on volume”, Mikael Mortensen says.

We meet at the office in central Stockholm where the company recently moved in. Four employees and three office dogs will challenged cleaning service giants Hemfrid and Homemaid from here. The migration of Helpling’s system is already going at full speed.

The acquisition means that Tidyapp can incorporate Helpling’s 750 subscribing customers and some 90 cleaners on their own platform. How much they have had to pay is something which Mikael Mortensen does not want to reveal, but his company is not the only one having poked around Helpling’s customer database.

“Despite being smaller than our competitors we have the advantage of our platform, which is of highest level, and that the business model is similar to theirs. I would not say that they chose us but it was the quickest way to hand over their customers to another business”, Mikael Mortensen says.

Helpling’s platform can be described as the Uber, Vint or Urb-it of the cleaning services.

Individual cleaning entrepreneurs are connected with simply that, individuals who want their home cleaned and the company rake 20 percent in commission on the booked assignments.

So far, Tidyapp have only worked with cleaning businesses but intend to continue on the Helpling track.

“If everything works as we believe and hope, we will bring in more cleaners running their own business and also have the platform open for companies. The customers can rate and prefer a certain cleaner, all of the bookings with communication are done in the app”, Peter Stier, acting manager at Tidyapp, says.

Venture capital firm Vidici Ventures, where Mikael Mortensen is a partner, owns the majority of Tidyapp. Turnover this year is expected to land on $24.000 while the prognosis for 2016 is $460.000.

To increase the tempo, more money is necessary in the war chest and the plan is to bring in an additional $600.000 in venture capital. Talks are held with investors but nothing has been set so far.

Competitors such as Hemfrid and Homemaid turn over millions of dollars but these companies have not been following the digital development to the same extent.

“They obviously need to convert and digitalize their business, but those are large organisations and it will take time. This is our advantage. I hope that we will become an even greater competitor through individuals earning reasonable money while cleaning through us, and that customers feel the swiftness together with simplicity”, Mikael Mortensen says.

Both he and Peter Stier use the app themselves, to book cleaning services on a regular basis.

“I left the office yesterday at 10PM, so when do I have the time? And if I do have the time, I want to do something else. I have a dog which demands attention the rest of the day and I am not inclined to clean the house for three hours when I get home from work”, Peter Stier says.

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