Helpfulpeeps is a social marketplace for local help. With over 175,000 registered members through our iOS, Android and web platforms, we are building the future of local services by using technology to match those who would like help with those most likely to provide it nearby. Our mission is to build the world’s most helpful network.
Why did we start Helpfulpeeps?
In a social media dominated world that is designed to convince people to spend more time online, we wanted to create a platform that enables people to connect and help each other in the real world.
Where are we now?
Helpfulpeeps has evolved from an online platform for communities to trade favours to a more sophisticated marketplace based on user demand. Over the last 12 months, we observed an increase in the number of requests where members were willing to pay for help and we are now ready to monetise our growing user base by facilitating payments and charging a commission on paid-for services.
64% of Britons are now using the sharing economy by tapping into resources that could not be effectively organised before. Helpfulpeeps is positioned to provide access to the “human cloud” by giving everyone the ability to leverage the vast array of skills available in their local community. By mapping the location and skills of each of our members, we are able to effectively match those wanting help with those most likely to help.
In practice, this means anyone from anywhere can get their request in front of a suitable neighbour in minutes. Responses come back in real-time with no middle-man. Where money is involved, there’s no need to worry about handing over cash – everything will be taken care of securely right inside the app.
By connecting the right people with each other, our aim is to unlock a massive amount of spare capacity to empower individuals, boost local economies and improve the health and wellbeing of society in the process.
Substantial accomplishments to date
We’re proud to have crafted a one-of-kind community that enables thousands of acts of help to happen in neighbourhoods around the country each month. Our award-winning platform has been built in-house using the latest technology, allowing us to scale globally.
• Released native iOS and Android apps for on-the-go help.
• Ran a live test of our monetisation strategy, validating our evolution to a more sophisticated marketplace.
• Started work on platform updates to support paid help, targeting Jan 2019 release.
• Received follow-on commitments from 8 of our 12 investors from the last round.
• Expanded to new cities.
• Published promo video, which amassed 774,000 organic views.
• Made strategic technical hires to allow all IP to be built in-house.
• Surpassed 100,000 members.
• Won Pitch@Palace on Tour in Cardiff.
• Finalist for Sparkies “People’s Choice” award.
• Raised investment from a dozen angel investors, including Graham Hobson (co-founder of Photobox) and Jody Ford (former VP Global Growth at eBay).
• Proved concept of “peer-to-peer help” in Bristol.
• Reached almost 10,000 members.
• Finalist at the Edge Awards for “Outstanding Business Idea.”
• Selected to be part of government-backed Sharing Economy mission to San Francisco alongside industry-leading startups.
• Launched pilot platform in Bristol to test idea.
• Won “Startup Launchpad” at Apps World, London.
• Graduated from Webstart Incubator and joined Entrepreneurial Spark accelerator programme.
Our revenue model is simple: a flat 15% platform fee (commission) will be applied to all paid transactions on the marketplace.
In the future, we believe there will be opportunities for add-on services, such as a “Pro” subscription with additional features for service providers to boost their income.
Why are we confident?
We ran a test of the marketplace and found that 40% of requests during the period had a budget, with an average budget of £25. Over time, we believe both the percentage of requests with a budget and the average budget per request will grow based on increased trust and liquidity on the platform.
How will investors get a return?
We believe the most likely form of exit will be a trade sale in the next 3-7 years. Examples of previous acquisitions include Gumtree by eBay in 2005 and TaskRabbit by Ikea in 2017. That said, our goal is to build a truly global platform (think eBay or Amazon for local help) and exit via an IPO.
Use of proceeds
The funds raised will be used in two ways: 1) product development and 2) growth.
On the product side, we will continue our work developing the transactional marketplace layer that we have slated for release in January 2019. This involves adding a more sophisticated offer system such that we can capture funds, hold them in escrow, listen for request completion and release payment (less commission) in a manner that is as streamlined and familiar to our members as possible.
We will also use the funds to accelerate user growth. Having tested multiple user acquisition channels, we will now significantly increase our marketing spend across the channels that are working effectively. In order to support this growth trajectory, we have allocated a portion of the funds to cover infrastructure.
This round of investment will allow us to optimise unit economics in preparation for raising our Series A, with a target LTV to CAC ratio of 3:1.