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App keeps cleaning simple

An app-driven home cleaning service based on the same model as Uber is poised for launch in Tauranga this month. NexDo has already been operating in Auckland, Wellington and more recently Hamilton, with the addition of Christchurch and Tauranga completing its plans for initially covering the country’s five main cities.

NexDo’s founder entrepreneur Sakshin Niranjan said his inspiration for launching NexDo came from his involvement in the ride start up Hola, a rival to Uber.

“I came over from India to help get it off the ground in Auckland, and after doing that for two years, was inspired to apply a similar sort of approach to the domestic home cleaning market.”

Typically an industry dominated by a large number of one or two person operations, Niranjan says it can be a market notoriously difficult for home owners to identify good operators who will deliver a consistent, quality level of service for a set amount. “It is a disorganised market, and one where it can be very hard to enter knowing what you are going to get, for what price.”

Funding secured

Eighteen months into operation NexDo has secured more than $3 million in funding and the support of two high-profile backers, Rod Snodgrass the ex-CEO of Spark Ventures and ex Infratil CEO Marko Bogoievski.

Niranjan says the business model is proving good not only for customers, but also cleaners and the industry as a whole.

“We have worked to ensure there is a certain standard met from NexDo’s approved cleaning operators.

“They have checklists they have to complete including taking pictures of the jobs before and after. We also offer services to help individuals become commercial operators, including helping set up their payment systems and setting up GST.”

He says over the past 15 months the company has overseen the establishment of 120 operators setting up formally as full time professional domestic cleaners. “And these are often people who may have been working part time in this role for a while and can now see enough in it to make it their full-time role.”

Aiming for lifting standards

He attributes the company’s 20 percent charge and quality assurance programme as helping lift the overall standard of service offering, and helping operators move beyond an hourly rate approaching the living wage to well above, up to $55 an hour.

But even before commencing offering services via the app, candidates are thoroughly screened.

“Operators have to have been working in the sector for three years and produce a Ministry of Justice certificate to prove they have no convictions. Then they are subject to some trial cleaning jobs to assess their performance, before enabling them to start operating via NexDo.

“It is really similar to what people now expect from Uber, where there are very few problems, your car just turns up and takes you where you need to be, fuss free.”

The customer will have a NexDo account, from which their payment is deducted, with cleaners paid for the previous week’s work in a single weekly payment, helping simplify their admin. The company is focusing on a breadth of home cleaning services that extend to car washing, exterior house washing, lawnmowing, and even BBQ cleaning.

“We pay close attention to feedback from our customers in terms of things they may want. For example, we found out from their feedback that dog walking could be a service to offer through NexDo.”

He said there is a distinctive seasonal pattern in what consumers are wanting from the service. January to March are strong on house moving cleans as people sell up and shift houses, while carpet cleaning in winter is popular due to pets tramping in and out of the home.

“We are very much led by what our customers are wanting and will work to offer services that fit around that whole domestic cleaning/services area.”

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