Hello Alfred, a startup that taps into existing on-demand services to automate your weekly chores, has raised $10.5 million in Series A funding.
The round was led by NEA and Spark Capital, with participation from Sherpa Ventures and CrunchFund. (CrunchFund is backed by TechCrunch-owner AOL, and like TechCrunch, it was founded by Michael Arrington.) This follows a $2 million seed round led by Spark.
Under the name Alfred, href="https://beta.techcrunch.com/2014/09/10/and-the-winner-of-techcrunch-disrupt-sf-2014-is-alfred/">the company won the Startup Battlefield at our most recent Disrupt SF. It lets users sign up for weekly automated chores, or text in spontaneous requests, and those chores are fulfilled by Hello Alfred’s own employees while the user is at their job or away during the day.
Customers are assigned their own home manager, also called an Alfred, and those managers take care of the work — in part by using outside services like Handy and Instacart. Your Alfred hangs out with the home cleaner, delivers the groceries and puts them in the fridge, and unwraps dry-cleaning from its plastic to hang in the closet. You can even have your shoes shined.
The $99-per-month service originally launched in Boston and has since gone live in New York. The company says it has already made 18,000 runs for its customers, covering tasks like dry cleaning 57,600 shirts, delivering 3,326 pounds of dog food and placing 1,280 flower arrangements. It also recently hired Foursquare’s Jason Liszka to lead its engineering team.
“So many people in the professional ranks are leading lives that are incredibly unmanageable,” said NEA’s Scott Sandell in the funding release. “Hello Alfred gives them back control over their home life and frees up their time to live.”
In the same release, co-founder and CEO Marcela Sapone said the company’s mission is “to automate the on-demand economy,” so the funding will help it “step on the gas and scale the Alfred experience to a wider base of customers.”
Hello Alfred plans to launch in San Francisco in June, and it’s accepting sign-ups for the wait list now.