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HomeNewsYohana launches in Seattle. It now offers personal concierge services nationwide.

Yohana launches in Seattle. It now offers personal concierge services nationwide.

Yohana founder and CEO Yoky Matsuoka. (GeekWire File Photo / Kevin Lisota)

Yohana was launched by an inventor of robotics and a mother who wanted to provide personal assistance. Now, Yohana has expanded nationwide.

Founder and CEO Yoky Matsuoka debuted Yohana in September 2021 as a way to help families manage ever-growing to-do lists. The service’s membership plan matches users with a real human assistant and others who can help with everything from planning parties to booking reservations to signing up kids for sports teams. It’s all buoyed by behind-the-scenes data and automation.

Yohana is a Panasonic subsidiary that has its own funds and expanded to Los Angeles this year.

Matsuoka is a former Google and Apple technology leader who won a MacArthur Genius award in 2007 as a professor at the University of Washington. GeekWire reported that her latest venture was met with overwhelming support.

“We knew that families needed support and were struggling, but the feedback and testimonials we hear from our members has reinforced our mission to help modern families thrive,” Matsuoka said.

Yohana members get four benefits for $249 per mois (reduced down to $149 the rest of the year).

  • Yohana Guide: A family has a person they trust to listen, understand and set goals.
  • Yohana Specialists: A specialist team is assigned to each family. They are experienced in family planning, managing homes and family.
  • Yohana Pro & Partner Network: Third-party providers, such as roofers, plumbers, or wellness specialists, can be accessed by members. These services provide extra support for their home and family.
  • Yohana App + Website: A virtual management system, where members can create tasks for their team, see what’s been completed and track time saved.

Matsuoka said those services are an expansion of what Yohana first launched with, and they’ve come after Matsuoka learned just how much help families really need.

“When we started in Seattle, we paired families with one Yo Assistant, backed by researchers and AI to make them ‘superhuman,’” Matsuoka said. “But our members needed even more support.”

Yohana app in hand birthday party yellow
Yohana allows members to connect with their personal assistants through the Yohana app. (Yohana Photo)

More than 3,000 families have been supported by the company and nearly 50,000 tasks were completed since its launch. Matsuoka explained that help in meal planning for weekdays is now more popular than the initial need around home repairs. And a recent special aimed at helping families figure out Halloween planning — costumes, decor, healthy treats — was well received.

“We’ve had some families say that Yohana has saved them up to 8-10 hours per week,” Matsuoka said.

Yohana is heavily reliant on the feedback of its members. The initial experience was developed entirely using an app. Members requested a desktop version. A focus on helping take the stress out of the holidays came after seeing members’ most requested tasks in 2021.

“We have honed in on our members’ stories and listened to their core pain points that they wanted resolved,” Matsuoka said. “They help identify areas of opportunity in order to design experiences that are compelling, meaningful, and focused on addressing key needs.”

Yohana, a Silicon Valley company employs approximately 140 people.

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