Too busy for household chores? Hate doing the laundry? Do all the shelves your husband puts up fall back down again? Worry not. Africa’s tech entrepreneurs have got your back, with an on-demand solution to answer every type of home help need. Here’s five of Disrupt Africa’s favourite African on-demand home-help startups to watch.
Where else to start but South Africa’s on-demand home-help prodigy SweepSouth?
Launched in June 2014, SweepSouth provides a platform that allows users to book home cleaning services online from their phone, laptop or tablet, connecting homeowners with “an experienced, reliable, vetted and insured cleaner in minutes”.
The startup had reached operational break-even within six months of launching, and the success stories have snowballed.
In August last year, SweepSouth became the first South African startup accepted to Silicon Valley incubator 500 Startups; and by December the startup had secured ZAR10 million (US$608,000) in new funding from the Vumela Fund, as well as existing investors Vinny Lingham and Llew Claasen’s Newtown Partners.
Also a South African startup, JustLaundry is on-hand for those of us who hate doing laundry.
The platform allows customers to book in their laundry and have it collected, cleaned and delivered to their door in 24 hours. Customers visit the site, choose a service, receive a quote, fill out their details, and make payment, after which a JustLaundry team member comes to collect the laundry.
“Our clientele consists mainly of adults between the ages of 25 and 40 who have little time to handle some of these household tasks – we come in and handle the laundry at the fraction of the cost,” says founder William Thubakgale.
East Africa has not been left behind in the home-help race either. On-demand home cleaning and laundry service Kisafi launched to the public last month.
Kisafi – the name means “it is clean” in Swahili – allows homeowners to use the web or an Android app to have their home cleaned, or their laundry picked up and taken care of.
The startup has a quality control and assurance centre in Nairobi with modern commercial cleaning equipment, and offers a marketplace of former and current hospitality and hotel employees. It has signed partnerships with two of the top laundry and dry cleaning service providers in Nairobi, and also has a tech-enablement suite, including body cameras for the recording of the cleaning process and a high-grade photo filing system for before and after wash clothing pictures.
Kisafi has grand plans for launches in Tanzania, Rwanda and Uganda, before moving on to West African rollouts.
It’s not only household chores which are giving rise to on-demand solutions. It turns out husbands, brothers and next-door-neighbours continent-wide are failing abysmally at DIY. Time to call in the professionals.
And that’s what Nigeria’s Wesabi allows you to do. Wesabi provides a marketplace where people can outsource home tasks and find local service providers, the startup aims to provide an all-in-one service connecting customers to handymen and artisans.
Wesabi recruits service providers offline, as most do not have internet access, and puts them on the platform. Artisans must be vouched for by the Builders and Construction Skilled Artisans Association of Nigeria (BACSAAN), as a vetting method to ensure quality.
Clients request a service, such as plumbing or carpentry, on the site, after which the nearest available artisan in the client’s locality is sent to complete the job. Users can then pay for the work via the platform.
“Asides encouraging more people to embrace vocational skills, the platform will also encourage the already skilled personnel to hone their skills better, once they know that the better you are, the more you are able to get jobs,” says Wesabi project manager Sanni Murtala.
The free iOS and Android app allows users to connect with service providers using location-based tracking and supplier availability in real time. The homeowner can track the service provider’s progress until they arrive at the job, and effect payment via a pre-loaded credit card.
getTOD offers an insured service to consumers and provides 24-hour emergency services seven days a week. It performs background checks on all service providers, and it also has standardised prices. Clients can rate the service they receive from the supplier.
The startup launched in Cape Town in April, and will expand across South Africa in the coming months.