Handybook shakes on purchase of Exec

Dubliner’s US online home services group acquisition will give it scale on west coast

Dubliner Oisin Hanrahan, whose online booking service, Handybook, raised $10 million (€7.39 million) in funding last October, has made its first acquisition, buying a San Francisco rival called Exec.

Handybook enables customers to book the services of cleaners, plumbers or handymen online.

The all-stock deal valued Exec at under $10 million but strategically it gives Handybook a footprint on both US coasts. "We've been growing like crazy in New York, Boston and the east coast but we haven't seen the same growth or market penetration in places like San Francisco. This deal brings us up a level," said Mr Hanrahan (30).

Shareholders in Exec, founded by tech entrepreneur Justin Kan, will become shareholders in Handybook alongside its backers, General Catalyst Partners and Highland Capital Partners. Exec's 25 shareholders, who put $3.3 million into the firm in 2012, include Stripe co-founder Patrick Collison from Limerick, Google board member Ram Shriram and Gm- ail developer Paul Buchheit.

“Exec is doing thousands of bookings a week and has hundreds of service professionals on its site,” Mr Hanrahan said. “It is a really good deal for us.”

Exec’s biggest market is San Francisco but it is gaining ground in Seattle and LA. “We want to be as dominant in these cities as we already are in New York,” Mr Hanrahan said.

He said Handybook's goal was to do for booking home services what Hailo and Uber did for booking a taxi or luxury car. "We have a brand people trust that has access to your home and allows you to pay for services online by just touching a button on your mobile."

The TCD economics graduate founded Handybook along with Umang Dua after they met while studying at Harvard.