Hassle On the Verge of Scaling

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Hassle, previously named Teddle, is on a mission to change the way we find local providers of home based services. The business was founded by three friends from Accenture – Jules Coleman, Alex Depledge and Tom Nimmo – in 2012.

It all started when Jules became frustrated by trying to find a tutor online, she realised there was a real need for an easier system to find and book reliable tutors. A bit of research found that this wasn’t the only service that was hard to look for. Subsequently, the idea managed to earn them a place on the Springboard accelerator programme where the team received £15k funding and during their time there they gained Hailo founder and Chairman Ron Zeghibe as non-executive chairman.

Originally they were focused on building a platform for booking local services, however after building and launching their MVP Hassle found that things weren’t going quite according to plan. Almost out of money it was clear that they needed to pivot if they were to survive. The product was too broad, focusing on lots of different niches at the same time and so they looked at how they could focus the service so that they could increase conversion.

Hassle had their lightbulb-moment when they were trawling through the analytics, most of the users on their site were looking for cleaners. After a bit of market research they found that the market was ripe for disruption.  The team rebuilt their site and launched at the beginning of 2013, this time to much more success. They are now beginning to scale, recently expanding their services to Manchester and having other major UK and European cities in their sites in the future. Although they are already cash positive, the business model they have chosen is one that works best at scale so the race to expand is on.

Hassle charge £10 per hour for a clean, £9 of which goes to the independent cleaner. They offer both recurring and one-off cleans by professional cleaners who have all been individually vetted. They are able to attract the best cleaners because they give more to the cleaner than the existing cleaning agencies who pay bare minimum. The platform allows cleaners to earn more whilst making it easier for consumers to book in real time, taking the hassle (get it?) out of finding a reliable and trusted cleaner.

I mentioned that Hassle was formally called Teddle. Why the name change? It turns out that not everybody can spell Teddle from hearing it, and the Hassle customer service was having to spell the out to people. Take note, this shows the importance of having an easy to understand and spell name if you are dealing with clients over the phone, something which a lot of start-ups seem to ignore.

Their mission to provide a platform for multiple services has not been lost. Hassle are starting with cleaners, once they have scaled and become established in this market they will be looking to expand the platform into other niches such as tutors and personal trainers. Best of luck to the team as they take on the challenges of scaling their platform to new cities, it will be an exciting journey.

Rich Edwards

Richard Edwards is a recent graduate of the University of Manchester, he now is building his start-up business.