Thursday 18 December 2014

Dublin entrepreneur bags €22m for web startup

Published 11/06/2014 | 17:01

Oisin Hanrahan of Handybook

An Irish entrepreneur has raised $30m (€22m) in funding for what is being described as the ‘Airbnb of home handyman services’.

Dubliner Oisin Hanrahan has landed the huge round of investment for the company he co-founded, Handybook.

Handybook is an online service where people can book a cleaner, plumber or general handyman quickly at an agreed price.

Hanrahan said that they would use the money to keep building the company out.

“We have 140 people in the team today and we’ll probably scale that a little more,” he told Independent.ie. “We’ll double the size of our mobile team as we’re seeing more people move toward mobile than ever before.”

Hanrahan said that the strength of the business model was its simplicity.

“It’s as simple as Hailo or Uber,” he said. “The only other way to do this is to respond to ads on Craigslist or similar services.”

He said that the service has been jumped on by handymen and tradesmen.

“For the handyman, you just claim the job,” he said. “It’s like an ATM in your pocket. We’ve got thousands of handymen using the service now.”

Although currently only available in the US and Canada, Hanrahan said that a move to European cities, including Dublin, was a logical step in the future.

“We think this is a service that is applicable in most major services in the world,” he said. “It’s not US restricted. We’ll look at other cities in time. But right now we don’t really need to add lots more cities to grow the company. We’re growing 10pc week over week and are now seven times bigger than we were at the beginning of the year.”

Having formerly helped to run the Dublin-based service miCandidate, Hanrahan left Harvard Business School after just a year to start the company with co-founder Umang Dua. The startup bagged €7m in funding late last year, bringing its combined financial backing to $42m (€29m) in just two years. It now employs 130 people.

Hanrahan, a TCD economics graduate, worked in real estate in Eastern Europe before working on startups with Paddy Cosgrave, the founder of Dublin's Web Summit. He also worked in venture capital with Accel Partners in London.

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