GoodWork, a Philippines-based booking platform for home services, has raised a $1.6 million seed round it will use to expand into new Southeast Asian markets.
The funding was led by Chaac Ventures, a firm that backs Princeton alumni (GoodWork co-founder and CEO Andrew Koger earned his bachelor of arts at the university), and includes participation from Elysium Ventures, Kairos K50 and angel investors from Facebook and Snapchat.
Before founding GoodWork, Koger lead Fulfillment by Lazada, the e-commerce company's logistics arm. He told TechCrunch that GoodWork will focus on launching in more major cities, and plans to expand into Vietnam and Thailand at the end of this year or early 2021.
Founded in 2018, GoodWork currently operates in the Metro Manila region. Its app lets customers book services including home cleaning, laundry pickup, air conditioner cleaning and home repairs, as well as spa services like manicures. Service providers on the platform, who set their own prices, typically get more than 10,000 jobs each month, with 70% daily bookings from repeat customers.
In March and April, GoodWork followed government rulings to suspend operations, after regions throughout the Philippines were put under different levels of community quarantine in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, with Metro Manila under the strictest restrictions. To adapt, the company added new health services, including online medical consultations, to its app.
Now as lockdown measures gradually lift, the company is preparing by adding disinfection cleaning services and implementing new safety guidance for providers, including a body temperature monitoring feature in its app, and additional safety training and protective equipment for cleaners.
Over the last three weeks, Koger said the startup has already started seeing a strong recovery, with some categories already returning to pre-COVID levels.
"The drivers differ by category, but in general I’m very optimistic that home service demand will actually get a good tailwind in the months ahead," he added. "For instance, with continued work from home policies, this increases air-conditioning usage, which has led to an increased demand for servicing, and for many people it has increased the need for home cleaning."
He added there is also more interest in laundry pickup and delivery services, because many people don’t have washing machines at home and rely on laundromats. Beauty services like manicures and pedicures are still not allowed to operate in Manila, but Koger believes that once they start again, there will be increased demand for them to be performed at home since many people may continue avoiding crowded shopping areas.