One of the things startups and investors like about the “sharing economy” is the potential it offers for new service-oriented businesses to expand into new locales without having to maintain a physical presence in those places.
Justin Kan thinks he has that model almost perfected as Exec, his cleaning and errands bookings app, today launches in New York, Chicago, Boston, and Los Angeles, adding to its existing services in San Francisco, Silicon Valley, San Diego, and Seattle.
Exec lets people book cleaning services – as well as other errands (grocery shopping, furniture assembly, food deliveries) – for their home direct through an app or website without having to actually talk to someone. As with private car service Uber, workers are interviewed and vetted through the service, and then users assign them ratings according to how well they did their jobs. The workers are then paid through Dwolla – usually at a cost of about $25 an hour. Kan says there are about 330 active workers on the platform so far, about a quarter of which are cleaners. Exec recently shifted its emphasis to cleaning rather than other services in order to make its offering more obvious and easy to understand.
Exec first expanded outside of the San Francisco area a month ago, and it has spent that time ironing out kinks as it prepared to take the Uber-like home-service product to a much larger market. “This signifies that we’ve figured out something people really want and our goal is to get it out to people,” says Kan, co-founder of Justin.tv, TwitchTV, and Socialcam. Exec doesn’t plan to ever have a physical presence in any of the cities it has launched in, retaining only its San Francisco headquarters.
Kan says the Exec team has learned a lot since launching its cleaning service, and adapted accordingly. It has moved from charging an hourly price to a fixed price based on the size of a space, so customers know in advance what they are going to end up paying. Exec has also enabled recurring schedules, and streamlined the scheduling process. Kan says in total, Exec has processed 11,000 job applications, including 8,000 for cleaning alone.
The Y Combinator-backed startup has so far raised $3.3 million in seed funding from Crunchfund, Reddit founder Alexis Ohanian, and David Rusenko.