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Handy, a startup that sends someone to clean your home

On-demand home cleaning has not exactly proven itself to be the easiest business. Earlier this year, Homejoy shuttered, and European cleaning services Hassle and Helpling merged. In the wake of Homejoy closing down, some of its former customers werefunneled to a copycat startup's website.

But Handy, the New York-based startup that connects cleaners, plumbers, and handymen with potential customers and provides on-demand house cleaning and home repair services, just raised a $50 million round of funding to add to its war chest.

Earlier this year, Handy announced it would expand beyond just offering home cleaning and repair to include furniture delivery and assembly. The new funding values the three-year-old startup at $500 million, according to TechCrunch.

The startup operates in 28 cities, and has 10,000 independent contractors. When Homejoy shut down this summer, Handy offered $1,000 bonuses to Homejoy's contractors to sign up with the service for the first-time.

Handy received a ringing endorsement from Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Florida) at a speech last month in New York. "In the last century, my mother worked as a maid in hotels. She had no control over her schedule, no influence over how much she earned, and few opportunities to set herself apart, yet she still achieved the American Dream," Rubio said. "Just think what she could have achieved cleaning homes through a company like Handy. She would have had total control over her own financial life."

The startup, which hires its cleaners and repair people as contractors, has also been the target of a couple lawsuits. One, filed about a year ago by two of Handy's California-based independent contractors, alleged that Handy — just one of many companies like Lyft, Uber, and Postmates that hire independent contractors instead of employees — is deliberately mis-classifying its employees as independent contractors.

But CEO Oisin Hanrahan tells TechCrunch the “vast majority” of Handy contractors work less than 20 hours a week. Many contractors also “dip in and out” of working for Handy. According to TechCrunch, a typical Handy customer pays about $70 per job on the platform, and the startup takes about a 20% cut of that.

Handy's new funding was led by Fidelity Management and Research Company and other current investors, TPG Ventures, General Catalyst, Highland Capital, and Revolution Growth. The startup plans to use the new funding to invest in the cities where it currently operates, and then to expand to new markets (and more countries) by the end of next year.

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