I am delighted that we have co-invested with Rocket Internet in their portfolio company Helpling. Helpling is part of the new breed of service marketplaces, yet with a twist: 10 months after launching, they are operational in 150 cities in 8 countries making them by far the most global of start-ups.
Helpling, based in Berlin, operates a marketplace, which matches cleaning services directly with consumers. When we first met the founders, Benedikt Franke and Philip Huffmann, we were taken by their “need for speed” attitude as well as their ambition to build a truly global industry changing company.
More specifically, here is what got us excited:
Solving a real pain point. Finding someone to clean your home is a daunting experience, no matter where you live. Factors such as trust and price complicate the issue, so that any service which helps reduce this pain will have an opportunity to thrive in this €100 billion industry.
Commitment to transparency. The domestic cleaning industry is an industry characterized by a total lack of transparency. Consider the issues of supply, prices, taxes, and insurance and the opportunity to bring this industry on-line is huge. From the outset, the founders made this one of their key pillars, suggesting to us that they wanted to build a truly global company.
Internationalisation. The company’s DNA oozes “international expansion”. In a world where going global matters and getting scale is crucial, this company had the courage to go for it from day one. This commitment makes them stand out as unusual and forward thinking.
Repeat buyers. Despite customers being able to circumvent the marketplace, the company is showing tremendous repeat buying patterns. Rarely have we seen such good repeat buying statistics so early in the life of a company.
Understanding unit economics. Given the founders backgrounds and their association with Rocket Internet, it was clear from the outset that these guys understand what drives the business.
My partner Hans-Juergen will sit on the company's board and bring Mangrove's e-commerce experience and "out of the box" thinking to the table. He will also be the company's greatest cheerleader. We look forward to the ride…….
Note: A special thanks to Eugene Mizin who was instrumental for us in this deal.
Helpling press release.
* This post was first published on LinkedIn.