The venture matches customers with freelance cleaners, acting as a dis-intermediating platform and multi-sided marketplace that deals with the process of booking, scheduling, and billin. Co-founder and CEO Wayne Soh explained that the capital from this round will be deployed in building a mobile app targeted at automating their value chain. His co-founder in this venture is Benjamin Koe, who serves as the marketing director.
The concept for ProperHands originated from Soh’s experiencing with operating a small hostel outside National University of Singapore, which he continues to do – The Enclave Hostel. Given his mixture of experiences, positive and negative, when engaging a service provider, he and Koe decided to use technology as an enabler to standardise the hiring of cleaning service providers.
According to Soh, with most cleaners lacking in technology savviness, allocating and arranging cleaning sessions are tedious for them. Given the operational intensity that exists in the cleaning businesses, automation will enable the rapid growth of the Properhands platform.
Soh noted: “Right now one of the bottleneck of this service is that most of the cleaners are not tech-savvy, so we need to build features/apps such that are user-friendly enough for them to use it themselves.”
He explained, “Our vision is for customers to be able to book or change a cleaning job and have scheduling, utilization planning, resource optimisation, payment, allocation, backups, personnel matching, confirmations, updates, reminders, and all other operational tasks completely automated with no human intervention.”
To date, Soh claims that Properhands has received over S$100,000 in billing, with more than 100 regular customers who are charged S$18 (US$13) per hour. Properhands takes a percentage of the fees, due to acting as an agent for cleaners.
From 2015 to 2020, they ventures aims to acquire 15,000 regular customers and a contractor workforce of 6000 active cleaners. However, competition is intense, given the presence of Helpling, backed by Rocket Internet, as well as Fixit.
Given the prospect of competing against Rocket Internet, Steven Kim, co-founder and CEO of restaurant discovery site Qraved, once commented in a feature by Tech in Asia: “You need to develop a value proposition that is more local, and communicate that to the local market and industry, against a global company like Rocket.”