Be it cleaning, moving, packing, setting up, they connect users to verified service providers
HandyMama is a startup that connects users with trained and verified service providers like professional cleaners, handymen, packers and movers, and more.
After launching the pilot of HandyMama in May 2015, it has become the leading on-demand cleaning and handyman services platform of Bangladesh.
Initially operating in only a few regions in Dhaka, the startup later expanded its services all over the capital and its adjacent areas like Savar, Gazipur, and Narayanganj.
So far, the company has served more than 6,000 businesses in almost all sectors including garments, NGOs, government offices, private offices, warehouses, restaurants, hospitals, and many more.
The start-up has also served over 150,000 households since its inception in 2015.
After graduating from the Founders Institute -- a global startup launching program based in Silicon Valley -- Shah Paran, the founder of the startup, decided to operate here in Bangladesh.
“We enable our service providers with training, certification and tool kits and we help them become more efficient in their jobs. Hence, we directly provide them jobs and help them earn a standard living,” said Shah, who is also working as the CEO of the company.
As of now, HandyMama has created jobs for over 3,000 service professionals.
Asked how he got the idea for the startup, Shah mentioned spending almost a month on the process of hiring people for setting up his first office.
“Back then, there were only a few websites with numbers of plumbers and service people, but nothing was organized. It was then the idea of HandyMama occurred to me.”
As a concept that was previously unheard of, getting people on board was difficult.
There was a big gap when it came to trust between the founder and the blue-collar workers he approached.
But now it is different and people apply to become “service partners”.
The main target group was the middle to upper-class families in Dhaka but now the company aims to expand and go global.
After Shah bootstrapped the start-up, in 2016, HandyMama received a seed investment from Pegasus Tech Ventures -- a Silicon Valley venture capital firm.
As of now, they have raised half a million dollars in cash investment from local and regional angel investors and venture capitalists.
“Our existing investors are from diverse business backgrounds ranging from technology, FMCG, advertising, BPO and financial services,” he said.
“Now we are raising $700,000 in our pre-series A round. In this round, we have received an investment from Accelerating Asia -- a Singapore based venture fund and an accelerator program and a local angel investor.
“We are also in conversations with multiple local and regional investors and we hope that we will be able to close the current round by December 2021,” the founding CEO added.
With an increasing number of middle-income households and multiple members of the families having jobs means; people are now busier than ever.
Shah realized that the concept of household services is also changing.
It is estimated that by 2025, there will be 35 million middle and affluent class households, therefore catering to this large number of urban households is the company’s primary target.
Speaking about the company’s future goals, Shah said: “Besides, we have seen tremendous development in the semi-urban areas across the country and we see ourselves serving all over the country very soon.
“So our vision is to become the number one household services brand in Bangladesh -- catering to the everyday service needs of at least a million families by 2025.”
The company has also had some positive social impacts, creating employment opportunities for thousands of service providers in Dhaka.
Several low-earning service providers are now making a decent living by working with HandyMama.
The service providers make on an average Tk20,000 to as high as Tk7 lakh per month.
HandyMama aims to create another 20,000 new employment opportunities across Bangladesh for a semi-trained and trained workforce by 2025.
For their contribution in the community and serving three of the Sustainable Development Goals, the company has been selected as one of the Exceptional Startups by Impact Collective in their Cohort 2 program, which started this Monday.
“In the local service space, technology plays an important role, but not the most important role,” Shah says.
Even though they are working on developing more user-friendly software regularly, Shah Paran believes that good services depend on human performance.
According to him, the customers remember the experience they have when they book a service, no matter how powerful the technology is.
“However, unlike our competitors, we are extremely focused on a few categories that we excel at. We want to be the synonym for those service categories in the long run. And we went to the deep root of each category that we are working on, innovated and improved many processes and we are ensuring that our customers get the best experience so that they come back and keep using our services.”
According to the company’s operations manager, the most popular services are: professional cleaning services; home appliance repair and servicing; packers and movers; and handyman services.