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Dublin: 11 °C Wednesday 23 October, 2019
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How an Irish woman's 'Hailo for cleaners' plans to keep cleaning up

Hassle was co-founded by Jules Coleman and it was sold for €32 million earlier this year.

Hassle co-founders Alex Depledge, left, Tom Nimmo and Jules Coleman
Hassle co-founders Alex Depledge, left, Tom Nimmo and Jules Coleman

WHEN IT COMES to keeping their homes clean, many Dubliners are easy to please: just make it as simple as possible to get someone else to do it.

A little over a year after its launch in the Irish capital, the Kildare-raised co-founder of Hassle, Jules Coleman, said the take-up of its online booking service for cleaners had been “more than we ever thought we would get”.

In about two weeks the UK-based company, which was taken over for a reported €32 million by German rival Helpling in July, will unveil the next stage of its development in Ireland with an app it hopes will further streamline the booking process.

It’s a mobile-first kind of design, it’s all about being easy to use on the go and being able to manage your relationship with your cleaner” Coleman told TheJournal.ie. ”We are constantly trying to remove friction points in the process.”

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The site, which has been dubbed “Hailo for cleaners”, acts as a platform for people to book self-employed cleaners.

Customers are charged a flat €12 per hour with the company keeping €2 out of the hourly rate and paying the rest to those doing the work.

Coleman said a few weeks ago Hassle passed 100,000 hours of cleaning in Dublin and it now had 10,000 customers in the region.

The competition

However, like any successful business model, Hassle has plenty of competitors. In Ireland there is home-grown rival UpChore, which offers both painters and cleaners booked online, while internationally the market is getting even more crowded.

US-based Handy has set itself up as a major rival to Helpling, which operates in 11 territories including Australia, Brazil and Singapore, offering services in its home country, Canada and the UK.

Meanwhile, the well-funded Homejoy shut down in July after four workers filed lawsuits over whether they should be classified as employees or contractors.

Coleman, who is now chief product officer of the combined Helpling-Hassle group, said there were no plans in the immediate future to launch elsewhere in Ireland, with the company focussed on growing its existing business in Dublin, the UK and France.

With a business like ours you need to have a physical presence in each of those cities because we meet each cleaner in person,” she said.

Hassle2 Coleman

Coleman, a UCD graduate who moved to London nearly 10 years ago, and her two co-founders launched Hassle in 2012 as a booking site for 27 different local services.

Its focus was later narrowed to cleaning alone after the trio found that was the most in-demand of their offerings.

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About the author:

Peter Bodkin  / Editor, Fora

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