Hux, an online marketplace for booking area house cleaners, is $1.25 million closer to its goal of disrupting the $800 billion local service industry with technology. The Atlanta startup, which empowers service providers to create and run their own micro-businesses, scored seed funding from the Dau Group and Tim Draper, a Silicon Valley venture capitalist known for investing in “big crazy ideas” like Tesla, Skype, and Hotmail.
The road to funding was a quick one for Hux. It started with support from Teresa Dau, the Managing Director of the Dau Group, who saw Hux CEO and Cofounder, Stanley Vergilis present at Venture Atlanta last fall. “She was the first investor who met with me immediately after my pitch. Then, we met a week later and we had a term sheet,” said Vergilis.
“After that, I went to Silicon Valley with the goal to get funding from the West Coast, since we already knew that we wanted to get to the next level with funding and eventually expand nationally. We got quite a few offers, but I liked Draper the best. I met Draper’s son on a Wednesday and Tim on a Thursday. They offered more money than I anticipated. In total, it took only three days to close that deal.”
The recent seed funding follows a successful $1.5 million run rate that ignited with just a $20,000 angel investment. With more cash flow in tow, the company hopes to expand into cities like Charlotte, Austin and Miami, as well as eventually offer additional services through its simple scheduling platform. This could be anything from mounting your TV to painting, mowing, or walking Fido. The concept for HUX was born from Vergilis’s experiences as a tutor at Georgia Tech, where he realized that he spent more time managing his tutoring business than he did actually teaching. To help him save time and reduce costs, he and co-founders James Loper (CTO) and AJ Alix (COO) developed an online platform that quickly attracted customers. In March 2014, Hux officially kicked off with the pivot to address the home-cleaning industry (from Hypepotamus’s former coworking space at the Biltmore).
Hux’s success has come from its efficiency and reliability. Its users are able to book online in 90 seconds and are guaranteed to be met with well-vetted service providers. The young company currently has 5 stars on Yelp and Google.
“One of the biggest problems with the service industry is the lack of consistent quality,” said Vergilis. “We knew that we had to tackle that problem upfront, so we built a competitive marketplace based on reviews. Our service providers are extremely successful because they know they have to do well to get new and continued business.”