The days of unicorns seem to have long passed. In their place, mentions of profitability and sustainability. No longer are investors only considered as to whether or not an idea has potential but if it is feasible within reason as well.
Down rounds are now becoming more common among the many start-ups reliant upon venture capital to continue trying to outpace their competition leaving some entering a new phase of development post-bubble burst.
Handy, the on-demand cleaning service, recently found itself looking at a complete overhaul in the way it approached business. Co-founders, Oisin Hanrahan and Umang Duo, were more acquainted to the early iteration of venture capital funding rounds. The days when start-ups competed to spend like sailors on shore leave.
Faced with what could have been their last possible round of investment, Hanrahan took a chance on completely rolling out a new strategy across all of their markets. A previously proposed initiative that was intended to take place only in a few markets rather than see full implementation.
The company, which had primarily handled the onboarding of contractors or “pros” with hired staff, launched the new strictly online platform with the purpose of saving Handy millions. Though the new self-service onboarding process would go on to increase the sign-up rate by ten percent, the first few quarters of implementation were some of the hardest for the adjusting company.
The lessons to be taken from Handy.com are indicative of the new era of venture capital post unicorn.