GoButler has a straightforward premise — you should be able to send a text message and one of its “Heroes” will help you get whatever you need, whether you want to order dinner or make a flight reservation.
Today, the startup is announcing that it has moved out of beta testing and is available in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, Germany, Austria and Switzerland. It’s also announcing that it has raised $8 million in Series A funding.
The round was led by General Catalyst Partners, with participation from Lakestar, Rocket Internet’s Global Founders Capital, Slow Ventures, BoxGroup, Ashton Kutcher and Guy Oseary’s Sound Ventures, and Cherry Ventures. General Catalyst’s Joel Cutler is now on the GoButler board.
We’ve described the service as a “Magic clone,” comparing it that other SMS service that promises to bring you anything you want, on-demand. (Magic can’t deliver a tiger, though.) Not surprisingly, co-founder and CEO Navid Hadzaad rejects the label, arguing that “while it may have sounded like a weekend side project,” you can’t build a service like this overnight.
GoButler’s connection to Rocket Internet isn’t just through the funding — its founding team (pictured below) includes former executives from the Berlin-headquartered company. Hadzaad, for example, worked on Rocket Internet services ZipJet and Helpling. And, well, Rocket Internet has a reputation for cloning successful services. But Hadzaad said that what really distinguishes the team, and what they got from their Rocket Internet experience, is “a strong footprint building consumer-facing operations.”