Finding a verified professional to clean your home or office is now just a click away thanks to a number of local startups which offer this sort of service online. The newest is Domestly, a startup which says it’s set to change the domestic industry.
Launched in September this year and co-founded by 25-year-olds, Berno Potgieter and Thatoyaona Marumo, Domestly has an app and website that residents can use to book any of the more than 500 available cleaners for half or a full day.
“The idea took shape in mid 2014 when I took it upon myself to help our own domestic worker Victoria Ngetu, who had worked for our family for 10 years, find new job opportunities,” Potgieter explains.
“While helping Victoria look for work, and at the same time searching for a cleaning professional for my own home, I quickly realised that there was no platform which could reliably help either of us achieve our goals. I realised that an opportunity existed to create an online space where cleaning professionals could market their skills to potential employers, and employers could find a reliable, vetted cleaner who fitted their budget and cleaning requirements,” Potgieter adds.
The startup is based and operates in Cape Town and was angel funded by the likes of Hannes van Rensburg, founder of mobile financial service provider, Fundamo, and Action Hero Ventures founder, Ernst Hertzog.
Instead of charging a certain fee, as is done by competing startups such as SweepSouth, professionals recruited on the Domestly platform set their own rate for various services. SweepSouth says that its aim is to ensure domestic workers are paid a fairer salary as the job market for domestic work is already skewed disproportionately in the employers favour. By allowing prices to vary, though, Domestly is likely to appeal to a wider audience.
SweepSouth recently won over a million rand in startup funding, and a place on a well known US incubation program suggesting that backers, at least, think the domestic workers’ market is ready for disruption via app-based services.
Each professional on Domestly has their own profile that lists their details, services offered and allows clients to rate their level of service once their job is done. All payments for services are also done within the app via credit card.
To equip its professionals with the necessary technology to use the app Domestly supplied many with a smartphone preloaded with the app, along with data and airtime, so they can access their profiles, accept bookings and view their duty schedules.
Alternately, professionals can also use the mobisite on internet-enabled feature phones.
Domestly will be spreading to more cities around the country, with Joburg first up on its expansion agenda.