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“Take all the disparate needs and demands you have across the home, and provide a single platform to take care of those for you.” with Fotis Georgiadis & Kenny Alegbe

The problem that I’m setting out to solve is how to save people time wasted on managing a household, to free them up for the things that matter in life. HomeHero looks to take all the disparate needs and demands you have across the home, and provide a single platform to take care of those […]

The problem that I’m setting out to solve is how to save people time wasted on managing a household, to free them up for the things that matter in life. HomeHero looks to take all the disparate needs and demands you have across the home, and provide a single platform to take care of those for you — whether that’s paying bills, fixing a boiler or waiting for packages to be delivered. We are creating a whole new category around turning the home into a service. Using machine learning alongside human potential, our platform aims to restore a degree of harmony around the home — fundamentally freeing people from tasks that make their lives busier and more stressful. And like the world we live in, it will soon be 24/7, with a 60 second response time.


As a part of my series about “Big Ideas That Might Change The World In The Next Few Years” I had the pleasure of interviewing Kenny Alegbe, Co-Founder and CEO of HomeHero. Before starting his entrepreneurial journey, Kenny worked in legal and marketing roles at Mansard Capital (a London-based macro hedge fund), Fragomen LLP (an international law firm), and in merchant corporate finance. Kenny has raised £3 million to date for his current company and is embarking on a Series A round in early 2020. The concept of HomeHero grew out of Kenny’s frustrations with the time wasted managing a home, from moving into and setting up bills, to maintenance and chores after that point. His mission is to give people back their valuable time.


Thank you so much for joining us! Can you tell us a story about what brought you to this specific career path?

Time and freedom are two things that are very important to me. Setting up a company always appealed to me as a way to take ownership over these areas. I was also looking for a chance to tackle a problem around the home environment head-on with technology. Having been on the other side of the investment world, I started my entrepreneurial journey with insight on what it was to grow a business, raise money, and juggle your own vision as a founder with divergent voices from investors, team members, and the board. I still wasn’t put off.

So, my co-founder and I saw an opportunity in the home space and wanted to address this. Our first hypothesis was around property transactions: how to make them easier and quicker. However, we soon realised there was an opportunity to address problems further on in that lifecycle, as we started to see new trends around where the home space is headed. We then worked through a process of first-, second-, and third-order thinking around what those steps would look like in the context of new versions of the product, and came to what we have with HomeHero. The overall problem I was interested in was how to manage all the disparate needs across the home, and came to a platform solution that will fundamentally change how people relate to the home space.

Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you began your career?

A surreal thing happened the other day when I started a conversation with someone in a hospital reception who reminded me of my mother. She was telling me about her son and then asked what I was up to with work. I told her about my product for the home, she asked what it was called, and it turned out she was an existing customer. She was as shocked as I was and told me my mother should be proud. It was pretty emotional actually.

Which principles or philosophies have guided your life? Your career?

Health, honesty, and humility govern a lot of how I think and act. I’m also really into stoic philosophy. For me, stoicism is a personal operating system that allows me to be grateful for what I have. A lot of people get stuck forever wanting things that they don’t necessarily need. I’m always optimistic and aiming for the best, but I tend to be happy in the moment because I’m grateful to know that what I have is what I wanted. Generally I’m able to balance a lot of the conflicts that life throws at me and have a pretty grounded attitude to life.

Ok. Let’s now move to the main focus of our interview. Can you tell us about your “Big Idea That Might Change The World”?

The problem that I’m setting out to solve is how to save people time wasted on managing a household, to free them up for the things that matter in life. HomeHero looks to take all the disparate needs and demands you have across the home, and provide a single platform to take care of those for you — whether that’s paying bills, fixing a boiler or waiting for packages to be delivered. We are creating a whole new category around turning the home into a service. Using machine learning alongside human potential, our platform aims to restore a degree of harmony around the home — fundamentally freeing people from tasks that make their lives busier and more stressful. And like the world we live in, it will soon be 24/7, with a 60 second response time.

How do you think this will change the world?

In the first instance, it will free up people’s time for better things — whether that’s more time spent with the family, or more time to focus on your work or friendships. On a macro scale, it will fundamentally change how we relate to our homes, just as Deliveroo changed how we order food, and Uber changed how we use transport. HomeHero will be where extreme convenience meets a more holistic vision of returning some peace and order to the home space — taking stressors like paying bills, home maintenance and emergency repair off your hands. My ultimate vision is that, in an increasingly busy world where the home space is yet another battleground to manage, HomeHero will play a key part in returning the home to what it should be: a haven.

Keeping “Black Mirror” and the “Law of Unintended Consequences” in mind, can you see any potential drawbacks about this idea that people should think more deeply about?

One potential drawback is that if you start to rely on a home manager to do all your tasks, big or small, you may eventually forget how to take care of basics at home. Over reliance on technology always has its dystopian drawbacks. There’s been a lot of coverage around how Millennials struggle with “adulting” and “errand paralysis”, in terms of doing basic things like sending a package. Without the need to learn these things they’ll lean on technology to do everything. There’s also an argument that an important element in the home is the division of labor and collaboration. Splitting tasks, or doing them together, can be a part of bonding, unwinding or sharing responsibility as a group at home.

Was there a “tipping point” that led you to this idea? Can you tell us that story?

It was less a tipping point and more a gradual realisation. One of the things that has characterised my entrepreneurial journey so far is an openness to iterate on the product, as long as the core problem we are solving remains the same: To save people time to do things that matter most to them.It was really our customers who informed us what the original product should turn into. As the original idea (Homeshift) took off, with tens of thousands of customers using us to set up their utilities as they moved home, customers also started using the platform to message us for ad-hoc requests around the home — from fixing boilers to supplying cleaners. This got us thinking that there was a much larger opportunity to create a whole new category around the home and manage all the disparate needs around it. This took us to the current product, HomeHero.

What do you need to lead this idea to widespread adoption?

Right now we’re maturing our product. We know there’s a good appetite for the proposition. However, like any business, we need to build our profile, and need capital to do that. For widespread adoption, a big factor would be securing the collaboration of some key building owners. Once we have a few big strategic building owners taking it on, then we’ll have a strong springboard for future adoption.

What are your “5 Things I Wish Someone Told Me Before I Started” and why? (Please share a story or example for each.)

  1. Things always take longer and cost more than you imagine. When we raised our first angel round people were trying to encourage us to raise more. I’ve always been capital-efficient and felt it was counter-intuitive to ask for more than you need. Perhaps there was a bit of naivety there.
  2. Picking a market where you can meaningfully add value is important. Our first iteration helped simplify the contract process around purchasing a home. Great for consumers, who want transparency, but lawyers are selling complexity by the hour, so they were naturally disincentivised to work with an entrepreneur working to make that whole process easier and quicker.
  3. Think carefully early on about role assignments and delegate. Naturally, as a founder you think you can do everything yourself, and you just end up doing everything badly. For example, agonising over a piece of work for hours, rather than working with a team member who can deliver something good, quickly.
  4. We have a culture of thinking we need to kill ourselves to be successful, built on the premise that success is the end result. But you have to enjoy the journey. Hard work is definitely a prerequisite to achieving something ambitious. However, I wish someone had told me earlier to also make parts of the process fun, and enjoy the growth and challenges.
  5. Don’t overcomplicate things. Focus on People, Profit, and Product. You need to be able to tune out all of the distractions to focus on what actually moves the business forward.

Can you share with our readers what you think are the most important “success habits” or “success mindsets”?

Paul Graham says every founder needs two things. One, to stay fit. Two, to have somebody they can talk to. I keep in quite good health, walking around 20,000 steps a day (mostly running around for meetings). However, my big focus is on the power of peer networks. Being in a network where I speak to other founders helps to give me perspective and gain insight, as well as be useful to others. It’s great for moments when you don’t know what to do. Being a founder is a lonely journey so these networks have given me support in unpicking problems. Luckily, I also have a mutual respect and friendship with our investors so feel able to share issues with them.

On top of networks, reading has been a vital part of my growth as a founder. I’m actually not a fan of condensed reading or apps like Blinkist. Don’t get me wrong, I think it’s a fantastic product, but I feel the need to get all the nuances from reading a whole body of work, the connection to the author, the whole picture of what’s being said and the voice of who’s saying it. Reading blogs and summaries is a way to augment your knowledge but not drive it. I always end up asking people what they’re reading and adding it to my phone notes. I’m currently reading Nassim Taleb’s book Antifragile, which touches on what I think is an important part of a successful mindset: resilience.

I also have “Self-Development Sundays” at the Ace Hotel in Shoreditch, setting personal goals as well as work goals, and keeping a sense of perspective on this founder journey. I find travel also helps with keeping myself refreshed and continuously motivated.

Finally, just say no. As much as possible. Your time and focus need to be safeguarded.

Some very well known VCs read this column. If you had 60 seconds to make a pitch to a VC, what would you say? He or she might just see this if we tag them 🙂

HomeHero is building a platform for the home, that helps people find time for the things that matter. The home is one of the last trillion pound opportunities. We believe there’s a large unaddressed and emerging new category called “Home as a Service “ that at maturity will support a double-digit billion-pound business. We’re early in our journey but are already seeing strong indicators that our thesis is not only correct but inevitable.

How can our readers follow you on social media?

I’ve always kept a low profile, much to the frustration of my comms team! I actually recently wrote a Medium post about why it’s important for founders to have a profile and share their insight, vision, and experience. I’m most active on Medium and LinkedIn so feel free to follow and connect with me there.

Thank you so much for joining us. This was very inspirational.

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