The Happy Home Company shuts down, team members move to Google

The Happy Home Company is the latest home services startup to call it quits.

The company was founded by Doug Ludlow, who sold his previous startup, Hipster, to AOL (which also owns TechCrunch). Its goal was to take some of the confusion out of the home maintenance process — when something broke in your home, Happy Home’s “home managers” would help you find the right service provider, and they also helped you develop a long-term maintenance plan.

The company’s website now carries a brief message announcing the shutdown, explaining, “Despite the many great things Happy Home had going for it — supportive customers, a large problem to solve, and great investors — ultimately we weren’t able to make the transition from a scrappy startup to self-sustaining company.”

Happy Home raised seed funding last year (investors included Lowercase Capital, SV Angel and Box Group), but Ludlow told me the startup was unable to raise a Series A. The problem, he said, was that customers in home improvement turned out to be more price sensitive than he’d expected, while the margins remained low and repeat business was a challenge.

“It’s very hard to build a home service brand that people regularly engage with,” Ludlow said. “There’s not a lot of love or delight in this space.”

However, he said that a small number of his former employees are finding a new home as part of the Google Home Services team, where Ludlow is running operations and working to scale the product and develop strategy.