My Panda is a peer-to-peer platform that brings help and trust back into communities. We reached out to Co-Founder and CEO Tamara Lucas to understand better My Panda’s value and her strategy to overcome the challenges of network effects.

Funding Round Details

My Panda logo
Company: My Panda
Security Type: SAFE
Valuation: $6,000,000
Min Investment: $100
Platform: Wefunder
Deadline: Apr 5, 2024
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In your own words, how would you describe your company?

My Panda stands for the Personal Assistant Next Door App, and we strive to be the village of support that today’s busy families need.  Our modern society has changed, and most of us live away from traditional support systems like extended family, and we are overwhelmed by the increasing demands of daily life. This scenario is especially challenging for working women, who often bear the brunt of managing household tasks after a long day at work.

My Panda leverages technology and the trust of the hyper-local community to find Personal Assistants Next Door (PANDAs) who have the time and desire to help others in their community.  Our customers use our mobile app to request help from folding and putting away laundry, taking bags of donations to Goodwill, prepping and cleaning up from a birthday party to picking up the dog’s medication.

We provide personalized, holistic, and affordable support to meet the varied needs of our customers. Beyond being the helpful hands to complete tasks, we emphasize teaching our customers delegation and prioritization skills, empowering them to reclaim time for their passions.   Our mission is to revolutionize support systems for women, enabling them to flourish and leave their mark in the world.

In addition to the needs of the working woman we primarily serve, we have found that her employer is also looking for solutions to help get workers back in the office and reduce stress and burnout.  We help to address this need by offering our services to companies to offer as an employee benefit or perk.  My Panda is the solution to help employees and their employers reduce burnout, increase satisfaction, and improve overall life/work balance.

What inspired you to take the leap and start this company?

Like many good founder stories, I created this out of my need. I am a single working mom of 2 boys, live 500 miles away from my extended family, my friends are as busy as I am, and I was drowning with all I had to get done.

The day the idea came to me, I was having lunch with a friend working as a dog walker in my neighborhood.  She commented that she would walk into her client, and so many of their kitchens would be a disaster.  She wished there was a way for her to spend a few minutes tidying up for her customers, and they could just throw her an extra $20.

This idea that there are so many people around us in our neighborhoods who have some extra time and would be happy to help while there are also so many (like me) who have no time to get it all done was where the idea for My Panda was first born.  

 As I shared the idea with more people, they inevitably asked when we launched in their town.  It soon became apparent that we would have to move beyond just serving my neighborhood and create a scalable solution that would address the needs of the millions of families nationwide that need a solution like ours.

How do you solve the chicken-and-egg problem that two-sided marketplaces face at launch?

Interestingly, we have had no issues thus far with the supply side of the marketplace.  We have a strong value proposition for our providers; they work close to home, are paid a fair wage, have a flexible schedule, helping others in their community with work that they do every day in their homes.  We have a waitlist of highly qualified potential Pandas, and we get cold outreach monthly from people in other cities who are interested in working with us.

However, as we grow, we acknowledge that this balance could threaten our expansion plans.  To maintain provider engagement and satisfaction, we’ve adopted strategies like subsidizing work in new areas (much like Uber did in their early days) and enhancing our technology for better job matching.

Our primary focus is scaling our customer base, leveraging referrals, and a strategic marketing approach.  Our B2B channel, offering our services as an employee benefit, is poised to accelerate our growth significantly.  This acquisition channel will give us insights into expected usage within companies so that when we land a new corporate account, we will have an idea of the average number of task requests per employee.  This will help with our cadence and timing in bringing on new Pandas to meet the needs of the demand side.

What does the competitive landscape look like, and how do you differentiate?

Our space has a range of competitors, including Task Rabbit, Hux, Angie’s List,, Amazon Home Services, Instacart, Uber Eats, other service apps, and local personal assistant, cleaning, and pet care services.

Like these competitors, we do get tasks done. However, we stand out as a holistic, personalized, adaptable, and scalable solution.  We are not transactional in our approach, we build a relationship and can provide the multi-faceted support, all in one place, that today’s women need to manage their busy lives.

We do not require the customer to spend time selecting/meeting their provider; we do all the work of screening and partnering them directly with a Panda to help. Our technology connects individuals in the geo-location to complete tasks. It creates a knowledge center about our members, allowing the Pandas to accept appropriate jobs and better meet the customer’s needs.

In addition, we are the only solution with community as its core tenet, focusing on women serving women. We hire our Pandas from within the local community in which they live.  This encourages social accountability, increases trust, and strengthens community bonds.

What is the scrappiest thing you have done for MyPanda?

We have learned to be scrappy in so many ways!  Our budget has always been tight, and as a single mom, I have honed some serious skills in scrappiness. I constantly review our expenses, payroll, and paid subscriptions to ensure we make the best use of every dollar and hour we work.  

Yet, our app development and how we have built our tech is a perfect example of making the most of limited resources.  My tech team has been with me since the very beginning and we all work together to find ways to build adaptable, flexible, affordable solutions for each product iteration.  

As a non-technical founder, I focus on customer experience and satisfaction first.  We don’t prioritize the product over the customer.  This allows us to try very creative yet low-input engineering solutions to improve customer experience, and then we iterate as needed based on customer feedback.  We take the idea of MVP and apply it to as many product adaptations as possible.

Which sources of funding, other than crowdfunding, are you seeking to grow your business?

We have applied for loans and non-dilutive grants from the City of Atlanta and other organizations.  In addition, we are looking to close out this round with some Angel investments from individuals who have a passion for supporting women and their families in the Future of Work.

We will do a larger seed round with more traditional institutional investors in 9-12 months.

And, of course, our customers are our best source of revenue.  We have a solid foundation of recurring business. We are extremely targeted in using funds to focus solely on increasing revenue over the next 9-12 months, with the projection of reaching profitability later this year.

If we speak again in 12 months, which milestones will you have achieved?

The coming year is pivotal for us.   The momentum is truly building so now we are committed to executing. 

First, we will serve all of metro Atlanta and the surrounding areas.  Our corporate account base will include hospital systems, co-working spaces, and local professional services companies like law, consulting, and accounting firms. 

We will have expanded into one additional 3rd tier metro area.  We will test our assumptions in a smaller market than Atlanta to help refine our GTM strategy in different cities and regions.

With a projected annual recurring revenue surpassing $1.5 million and achieving profitability in one year, we will be set with a solid foundation for our next growth phase.