When I first heard about this, I thought it was a joke: There is a start-up company, of course in San Francisco, that connects maids with people who need their home cleaned. Ok, I considered Merry Maids, which a lot of people use. But when I found out the company had received $38 million in venture capital financing and that the founder was in her 20s, with zero experience in the house-cleaning industry, I knew the apocalypse had come and the tech bubble had burst.
The company is called Homejoy, and it was founded by Adora Cheung, who has an undergraduate degree from Clemson University and a Masters from The University of Rochester; she started Homejoy right after graduate school.
Even more amazing, it seems Adora Cheung had no previous experience in the industry before she started Homejoy. However, in today’s world, where venture capitalists will throw money at any and every idea, this is not a huge surprise. Yet when a woman in her 20s without any real experience in her industry gets 38 million, you have to wonder what they are smoking in the Valley.
Even more bizarre, Adora admits she didn’t know how to clean a house before she started the company, so she went to a “maid boot camp.” And it gets even stranger: According to recent articles in The Washington Post, New York Magazine and International Business Times, Homejoy has used homeless people to clean houses. Imagine you come back from a hard day at work, and the poor guy whom you’ve been giving money to on the corner of your street is not only in your house, but he is cleaning your house. Wow!
But perhaps I am too cynical and should really be moving out to San Francisco to pitch venture capitalists on an online pest control company. I mean, if a 20something woman with zero experience in her industry can get $38 million from venture capitalists to hire homeless people to clean houses, maybe I am the fool for not grabbing the money while it’s hot.
But in reality, this is Pets.com, this is the end — sayonara, Silicon Valley. I only wish you could short privately held firms.
President of The Billionaires Portfolio