Shortly after its arch-rival pulled in a healthily sized seed funding round, Korea’s Miso today announced it has secured a US$2.7 million seed round led by a bunch of Silicon Valley investors, including Y Combinator. The Miso team entered the Y Combinator program this summer.
The service, which connects Koreans with cleaners, is now active in the cities of Seoul, Incheon, and the capital’s suburbs across Gyeonggi province, explains co-founder Victor Ching to Tech in Asia. “We have served over 30,000 customers to date,” adds the American entrepreneur from Hawaii. He came to South Korea on a trip with his cousins 10 years ago and ended up staying to work in the flourishing tech sector. After a stint as chief product officer at Yogiyo, Delivery Hero’s Korean branch, he decided to create his own startup.
Some of the Miso money will go towards expanding beyond just being an Uber for cleaners. “We plan to launch our first new verticals at the beginning of 2017,” says Victor. New markets outside South Korea are also on the cards, but Victor and the team are keeping it all hush-hush for now.
The startup will expand to new services next year.
“We started this company in August of 2015 so we have not been around for long,” explains Victor. “But in 2016, we tried to focus on three things: growth via high customer retention; providing a quality service; reaching breakeven as a company. We were actually able to briefly reach breakeven in October but now we look to use this funding to further scale growth.”
Aside from the competition, on-demand services are proving to be a sector. The expensive failure of US-based Homejoy shows it’s difficult to retain cleaners and rope in repeat customers.
The other US investors in this round are AddVenture, FundersClub, Sazze Partners, Strong Ventures, and Korea-based Primer. A bunch of angel investors also threw in their own cash, including Geoff Ralston, partner at Y Combinator and former Yahoo exec.
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