Rocket Internet cofounder Oliver Samwer
Rocket Internet is hard at work on its next venture – a copy of US-based Homejoy. The platform lets users book household services, such as cleaners. According to Deutsche Startups 25 people have apparently already been hired for the Rocket company, which should launch in spring this year. A Rocket Internet representative told VentureVillage’s sister magazine Gründerszene that the new venture will be run by two experienced entrepreneurs, Benedikt Franke and Philip Huffmann.
The move to clone Homejoy fits with Rocket Internet’s strategy of launching successful business models in new markets. The original US service is well-financed, receiving a $38m funding round last December, and counts Google Ventures and Redpoint Ventures among its investors, along with PayPal founder Max Levchin, First Round Capital, Oliver Jung and Mike Hirshland. A graduate of Y Combinator, the startup now plans to expand its service to include other lifestyle offerings – such as gardeners and janitors. Homejoy is active in 30 cities in the US and Canada.
Although Rocket Internet’s version won’t be competing in the same markets as Homejoy (yet), there are already a number of similar services in Europe including Germany-based CleanAgents and UK-based Mopp.com. For Rocket, that means it has to do what it does best: implement quickly, market quickly, and internationalise quickly.