Unilever Ventures: Invests in Germany Start-up Helpling

Helpling, the Rocket Internet-founded company that lets you book a range of home services online, has raised new funding this time from the venture funding arm of Unilever in what could be considered as a strategic investment.

The exact investment is unknown, but according to recent reports it is said to be several million euros. Unilever and Helpling have been working together since 2015, in particular on marketing campaigns. This collaboration will now to be expanded further, says co-founder Benedikt Franke. As a result, Unilever will gain a more direct connection to customers including leveraging Helpling as a distribution channel via the trusted cleaners it places in your home. It is also an opportunity for the company to promote its range of “home care” brands, including Viss and Domestos.

Helpling was founded in 2014 by Benedikt Franke and Philip Huffmann with the support of Rocket Internet in Berlin. So far, the start-up has raised 67 million euros. Only last March investors contributed a further ten million euros. The company hopes to become profitable in the next twelve months.

For a long time Helpling provided the services of independent plasterers to private customers, but the market is very competitive. The largest German competitor is the start-up Book A Tiger, which is also based in Berlin, and now employs permanent cleaning staff and office services for business customers.

Helpling, on the other hand, continues to focus primarily on private end-customers but has significantly expanded its services since the beginning of the year. In the meantime, it also offers the provision of other household-related services such as professional window cleaning, furniture construction, carpet cleaning, clearing or painting. In January the company said it was working with 150 “partners” in 15 different cities in Germany.

Photo credit: http://www.helpling.de. Material used in the preparation of this article has been drawn from TechCrunch.


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