Singapore’s ProperHands raises $177k seed round from Crystal Horse & Tri5

Graphic from Properhands. Credit: Properhands

Crystal Horse Investments and Tri5 Ventures have invested in Singapore-based home and office cleaning startup ProperHands in a seed round worth US$177,000 (S$250,000), the startup announced today.

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 Koewho 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 Helplingbacked 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.”

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Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.

Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.