Ben WoodsEurope Editor
Ben is a technology journalist with a specialism in mobile devices and a geeky love of mobile spectrum issues. Ben used to be a professional Ben is a technology journalist with a specialism in mobile devices and a geeky love of mobile spectrum issues. Ben used to be a professional online poker player. You can contact him via Twitter or on Google+.
Rocket Internet-backed German startup Helping has acquired UK-based rival Hassle to grab a slice of the UK on-demand cleaning market.
While well-established in 12 (mostly) European countries, Helpling doesn’t have any presence in the UK. Acquiring one of the leading players gives it a shot at growing market share, rather than establishing itself from nothing against a number of rivals.
While Helpling’s co-founder Benedikt Franke remained coy about the specifics of the deal, ‘sources’ talking to Tech EU say that it is worth around €32 million (around $35.5 million).
Franke also says that Helpling didn’t consider any other companies before agreeing to the deal with Hassle, which is contrary to reports suggesting there were talks with Homejoy that fell apart upon closer inspection of its finances.
“No. We either want to build the number one very, very quickly or [acquire]… and there’s no other option [than Hassle] for us.
At the same time, this is the only market entry acquisition that we’ve done, and we will not continue to expand like this. We’re usually very, very confident in our organic growth potential – this is how we reached market leadership in other markets.”
Part of the attraction to Hassle was its successful three-year record and the team behind it, Franke explained:
In the UK, it was a unique situation – it wasn’t just to enter the UK, it was to get the team on board who understand the business and who have proven that they can win a market and [run] a great business.
This is much more than entering the UK market, like a make or buy decision, it’s a global, strategic decision.
There won’t be any change to the Hassle brand in the UK though, in either the short or long term – another big part of the appeal in the acquisition is Hassle’s footing in the market. As such, Helpling will continue to use the name to capitalize on the goodwill and recognition already fostered in the UK, while maintaining the Helpling brand in other locations.
Read next: Where there’s muck there’s brass: Why domestic services startups are cleaning up in 2014
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