Hassle.com is a web- and app-based service founded in 2012 by Alexandra Depledge, Jules Coleman and Tom Nimmo that helps people find and pay for cleaners in a quick and easy way.
The first version of Hassle.com was built by Coleman who, motivated to set up her own business, taught herself to code from a book about the Ruby on Rails web application framework.
She persuaded Depledge and Nimmo to join her and launched the app in January 2013.
Hassle started in the TechStars London technology accelerator programme, and has since grown to employ 55 people in its headquarters in London.
The company has a network of cleaners extending from the capital to Manchester, Birmingham, Leeds, Dublin and even Paris.
We put chief executive Depledge under our spotlight to hear more about the startup.
What does Hassle do?
Hassle.com matches busy working professionals with local, trusted cleaners in under 60 seconds. Customers go to Hassle.com's website or download the app for iOS or Android, and type in their postcode to find the right cleaner for them. They can then book and pay via Hassle.com's online platform.
Why did you develop Hassle.com?
We were frustrated at how much stress, time and cost was involved in sourcing private hired help.
Whether looking for a piano teacher or a cleaner, we found that traditional agency and freelance models for workers and consumers were broken.
Hassle.com is a simple, fast, fully automated service for the digital era. Focusing on cleaners first, we have brought a service traditionally the preserve of high earners to a wider market while ensuring that those working for the platform are well rewarded.
What technology do you use?
Generally we use Ruby on Rails for coding, Apple Macs for computing and Google Analytics to monitor traffic to our site.
What level of funding have you received so far?
Since the launch of Hassle.com we have received $6m in Series A funding from one of the UK's most well-respected venture capitalists in Europe, Accel Partners.
What challenges have you encountered to date?
Initially it was gaining the right levels of liquidity on both sides of the marketplace. If you don't have enough supply it leads to a poor customer experience, but having too much results in disengaged providers that churn. Solving that was a huge moment and a great feeling.
What's been the biggest highlight of your business to date?
It's got to be the first booking that was ever made on Hassle.com. We were elated!
What does your company do to relax or have fun after a busy day?
Like any tech startup we're big fans of team beers on a Friday.
What did you do before starting Hassle.com?
I worked at Accenture as a management consultant where I specialised in retail, advising FTSE 100 clients on their business strategy and customer channel execution.
I left in 2012 to take the leap into the world of startups and entrepreneurship and to co-found Hassle.com.
What are your favourite and worst things about running your own startup?
I love the variety of my work. Every day is different so it never gets boring. It's also awesome to work with my best friend, Jules.
Running your own business can take over your life so I think that has to be the downside for me.
If you could emulate the success of another startup, which would it be?
Transferwise. Because I've never seen better marketing from a London startup, especially in an industry that people assumed could not be cracked by outsiders.
Do you work remotely, in a shared environment or have your own office space?
I work at Hassle.com headquarters in Vauxhall.
Coffee shop of choice?
Ozone in Old Street.
Beverage of choice?
Gordon's Wine Bar near Charing Cross station.
The trusty Google Maps. It gets me to my meetings on time.
Do you benefit from startup communities and related networking?
Definitely. I'm always attending startup and networking events and I regularly speak at key tech events.
It's fantastic to attend these kinds of events and meet up and exchange ideas with others in the tech community. There are some great things happening in the UK right now of which we should feel proud.
Could the government and technology industry do more to support UK startups?
Absolutely, and it's actively happening. For example, I am on the board of the newly formed government backed Sharing Economy UK trade body.
The group was set up to champion the sector, ensure best practice and act as a single voice for the industry.
The government's recent announcement in the budget of ‘sharing cities' pilots in Manchester and Leeds is a huge moment for the tech movement and an indication of how much things are changing.
If you want to take part in the V3 Startup Spotlight contact Roland Moore-Colyer.
Previous startups under the spotlight have ranged from cloud-based legal fee tracking platform Apperio and background checking service Onfido, to gaming social platform gamesGRABR and e-location tech firm Locpin.
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