Founded by Harvard Business School grads Umang Dua and Oisin Hanrahan, Handy, formerly known as Handybook, looks to be the next app-driven service to connect consumers to service providers, not unlike Lyft and Uber. While those popular apps are there to connect people to freelance drivers, cutting out the need to flag down a taxi on busy city streets, Handy looks to get home maintenance and repair professionals to your home at the push of a button from your smartphone. Acting as a marketplace to regulate transactions, Handy manages payment with guarantees for consumers and schedules times for service providers, and though cleaning is at the top of their list, plumbers, air conditioner repairmen and the like are up for work as well.
At present, Handy operates in 13 cities across the US, including those where they have an established office: Los Angeles, San Francisco, Chicago and Boston. They even managed to buy out Exec, a cleaning service and competitor out in California.
The service is as simple as others in the same vein. Through either their app or website, potential clients can select their immediate area, time they need cleaners present and they’ll get a quote for the job. And just like Uber or Lyft, a card can be placed on file to take care of payment. This ensures that transactions are completed with a bit more fairness. Furthering the quality of service providers is Handy’s screening process. According to their own numbers, hundreds of thousands of freelancers have applied to work through them but only an approximate 3% were cleared, minimizing, but not ruling out, the possibility of a client needing to utilize their money back guarantee.
Things seem to be going well for the service and that’s no surprise. Both Hanrahan and Dua were roommates wile at Harvard Business School in 2012, and in their first year of rooming together they began kicking around ideas for how to fix up their own space to make it livable, and through combined networking and business skills a new freelance service was born.