Wayook, the Spanish on-demand cleaning startup, has quietly raised its first funding round: a modest €640,000 from Axon Partners Group. The investment closed a few weeks back but went mostly under the radar, which is synonymous of Wayook as a whole.
Launched a year ago out of Salamanca, the small Spanish town known mostly for its University, the startup is active in 40 cities in Spain, and has held its own against better-funded competitors, including Helpling, the heavily-backed on-demand cleaning startup founded by Rocket Internet.
Separately, TechCrunch has heard from sources that prior to Wayook closing a funding round, Helpling may have been eyeing up the Spanish startup as a potential acquisition target, possibly hoping to pick up the then bootstrapped company on the cheap. That didn’t happen and Wayook and Helpling remain competitors.
In fact, it’s my understanding that Helpling has spent heavily on marketing in Spain, only to retreat from the Spanish market somewhat. To that end, although the Rocket Internet-founded startup has launched in 200-plus cities in Europe and beyond, the company admits that a figure of more like 20 cities remain the priority and are where the majority of its cleaning jobs are booked.
Meanwhile, Wayook says it plans to use the new capital to bed down on its leading position in Spain and for international expansion. It’s not saying where that will be but is likely setting its sights on Latin America — making good on its Spanish language roots — and also other countries in Europe.
I’m told that, as well as raw customer numbers, it’s Wayook’s retention rates that impress most. The startup says that it’s growing 30-40 per cent each month but key to this is that thus far the average length of subscription is 10 months. It’s repeat cleans, in what is otherwise a low margin business, where the real money is at after all.