Spruce gets $26 million to help apartment dwellers with cleaning and chores

Spruce employees in Austin. | Photo: spruce

After six years of helping apartment dwellers with household chores, Austin startup Spruce has hit a major milestone in its growth trajectory.

The company announced on Tuesday that it has raised $26 million in Series B funding. The capital raise brings the company’s total funding to $40 million, including an $8 million Series A from November 2020.

The Series B round was led by Sweat Equity Partners, with participation from SoftBank Corp., Mercury Fund, Fitz Gate Ventures, Seamless Capital, Raven One Ventures and New Age Ventures.

Spruce was launched in 2016 after founder Ben Johnson noticed that 15 different dog walkers came to his building every day. By choosing a dog-walking service for the building, he thought, apartment managers would have fewer people to monitor. Additionally, residents could see cost savings from the increased efficiency.

When he couldn’t convince his neighbors to agree on a dog walking service, he started Spruce, which provides apartment residents with housekeeping, pet care and laundry on demand, provided by experienced and licensed contractors.

The company serves more than 2,300 apartment communities across the country. He recently expanded its services to owners of single-family homes in Austin as well as short-term rentals referenced by Migoa home-sharing service created by RealPage in partnership with Airbnb.

Spruce currently has 59 full-time employees and 41 part-time employees. Of the full-time employees, 54% live in Texas and 37% live in the Austin area. To achieve its growth goals, Spruce plans to nearly double its workforce, with a focus on product, engineering and sales roles.

Although Spruce is a fully distributed company, anticipated growth has prompted the company to seek office space in Austin, as it wants to provide local employees with a place to meet and collaborate as needed.

In addition to the funding news, the company announced that CTO Steven Pho will become Spruce’s new CEO. Johnson, the former CEO of Spruce, will assume the role of chairman of the company. Pho has been a member of Spruce’s board of directors since September 2020 and has held leadership positions at RetailMeNot, Forager and Favor Delivery, according to his LinkedIn.

“Over the past six years, Spruce has helped transform both the multifamily and janitorial industries and has experienced phenomenal growth in the process,” Johnson said in a statement. “I am extremely excited to work with Steven through our next phase of growth as we pick up our pace with this new funding.”