Adora Cheung

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Adora Cheung
OccupationPartner at Y Combinator
Known forHomejoy

Adora Cheung is an American software developer.[1] She was the co-founder and CEO of housecleaning business Homejoy. After Homejoy closed Cheung started working exclusively for Y Combinator as a partner.

Early life[edit]

Cheung grew up in a small town in South Carolina and earned a bachelor's degree in Computer Science from Clemson University.[2] She received a masters degree in Economics from the University of Rochester.[2] While working on her PhD, a friend asked for programming help with his startup, so she left her PhD program to help him. When that didn't follow through, she moved to Silicon Valley.[3] Cheung worked at as a group project manager, overlooking multiple projects such as FunWall, SuperPoke!, and SuperPoke! Pets.[4]


Cheung and her brother joined Y Combinator after she left Slide, Inc. Together they brainstormed several startup ideas, including Pathjoy, a platform to connect customers with life coaches and therapists, but soon abandoned the idea. Instead Cheung started to focus Pathjoy on finding house cleaners instead of therapists. The idea came when Cheung was looking for a cleaning service for her brother's apartment, but all offerings were either from expensive cleaning agencies or untested cleaners from Craigslist, and she decided that there needed to be an easier, cheaper way to provide home cleaning services.[2] To further reinforce the company's new direction, the name Pathjoy was changed to Homejoy.

Inspired by other companies that participate in a sharing economy,[4] Cheung created Homejoy with her brother in 2012.[4] The company was located in San Francisco[5] and she worked as the chief executive officer.[6] By 2013, the company raised $38 million from Google Ventures and Max Levchin towards their venture funding.[7] By 2013, Homejoy was available in 31 cities.[7]

For research, Cheung worked at a professional cleaning company to learn the issues facing cleaners, including scheduling difficulties and inefficient traveling. She was the first cleaner for Homejoy and cleaned houses herself as the startup got off the ground. Because of her experience, the new Homejoy hires are required to do a test cleaning job as part of the hiring process.[8] During their test cleaning the new hires are taught how to clean in an efficient manner, and how to communicate with the homeowners in a friendly and effective way.[4]

Cheung herself also went out on cleaning assignments at least once a month. She had plans for Homejoy to move into home repairs, including electricity and plumbing.[9]

Homejoy closed as a business in 2015 after facing four lawsuits from workers who had been "misclassified as independent contractors."[10][11][12]


  1. ^ DePillis, Lydia (10 September 2014). "At the Uber for Home Cleaning, Workers Pay a Price for Convenience". The Washington Post. Retrieved 15 August 2016.
  2. ^ a b c Kenrya Rankin Naasel (4 April 2014). "The Homejoy Creation Story: It All Started With A Dirty Bathroom". Fast Company. Retrieved 20 July 2016.
  3. ^ Laura, Dunn (2013-11-18). "Women in Business: Q&A with Adora Cheung, CEO and Co-Founder of Homejoy | Huffington Post". The Huffington Post. Retrieved 2016-09-13.
  4. ^ a b c d Hull, Dana (30 August 2013). "Homejoy CEO Adora Cheung on the 'Sharing Economy'". The Mercury News. Retrieved 15 August 2016.
  5. ^ Miners, Zach (18 July 2015). "Homejoy's loss could be Google's gain". IDG News Service via PC World.
  6. ^ De La Merced, Michael J. (5 October 2013). "Homejoy Raises $38 Million in New Round". The New York Times. Retrieved 15 August 2016.
  7. ^ a b Hull, Dana (December 4, 2013). "Housecleaning startup Homejoy raises $38 million". Bloomberg News via The Mercury News.
  8. ^ Alice Truong (13 February 2014). "Homejoy, The Startup That Makes All New Hires Scrub Toilets". Fast Company. Retrieved 20 July 2016.
  9. ^ Ryan Lawler (21 October 2014). "The Ultimate Vision For Homejoy Is Not Just Cleaning, According To CEO Adora Cheung". TechCrunch. Retrieved 20 July 2016.
  10. ^ Huet, Ellen (23 July 2015). "What Really Killed Homejoy? It Couldn't Hold On To Its Customers". Forbes. Retrieved 15 August 2016.
  11. ^ Huet, Ellen (17 July 2015). "Homejoy Shuts Down, Citing Worker Misclassification Lawsuits". Forbes. Retrieved 15 August 2016.
  12. ^ Lien, Tracey (17 July 2015). "Homejoy Shuts Down Amid Lawsuit Over Worker Misclassification". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 15 August 2016.