On-demand has made its way through almost all industries, and home cleaning is no exception, with everyone from entrepreneurs to major product manufacturers jumping in on the trend.
With over two million domestic workers in the Gulf, including over 750,000 in the UAE alone, this is a fertile ground for cleaning app ventures.
The Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation recently announced the provision of a variety of packages for employing various types of domestic workers through the Tadbeer service centres, which are expected to start services in the fourth quarter of this year. Tadbeer centre investors have received initial approval to operate 40 centres across the country. They will help guarantee the provision of visa, include conducting pre-arrival interviews with domestic workers to ensure they understand their contractual rights, the provision of training and education to new workers, resolving disputes between workers and employees, and checking on worker housing and accommodation.
Booking a maid has been a hassle for Abdul Kareem Abdulghani, when moving to Dubai from Switzerland. It was difficult for him to find a good and reliable domestic worker to clean his house upon his schedule and desired time. This gave him the idea of launching Maidme in June 2017.
Cleaning at the palm of your hand
The application, which is available on the App Store, allows users to connect with maids and book a service. Companies then receive booking requests and check the availability of the maids.
So far, the app features 12 cleaning service companies with a total of 160 maids in Dubai, according to Abdulghani.
Featured companies don’t pay any fees. “The only cost they have is the commission we charge on the bookings that we bring through our app,” Abdulghani explained without revealing any commission percentages.
Let’s get down to cleaning
Users on the app can select the maid based on other customers’ ratings. “The rating system that we created motivates maids to offer better services in order to maintain a high ranking. This also secures them continuous booking appointments,” he said, explaining that each maid who has a rate of over 4.8 over five will get an incentive bonus. Whereas the maid who has a rating less than three, will be removed from the platform until she receives required training.
The system’s analytics allow customers to access their booking history to view their preferences. The system also shows them the available maids at a specific time.
Payment is done through credit card, and no extra fees for Maidme are due. Maids’ services cost between 35 to 45 dirhams per hour (US$ 9.5 to US$ 12.2), which is the regular price range for such services in the UAE, he said.
Funding and expansion
The app was launched in Dubai after an incubation phase in Dubai’s in5 benefiting from essential networking and mentorship. The app received first round of funding of over 260,000 euros (US$ 296,000) from a Swiss angel investor.
The app has so far over 110 users. “Our target is to reach 2,000 users within six months of operation, and we are currently planning our marketing strategy,” he said. “We are aiming at expanding outside Dubai to other emirates, and towards the Saudi market at a later stage,” he added.
Maidme has already started working on a pitch for a second round of investment. This money will be used for marketing but mainly to boost development. “We believe that the capital should create innovations and not provide subsidies to buy market share. We are working very closely with the cleaning companies to understand their day-to-day operations and how we can optimize the way they work in order for them to focus on the quality of service they provide to our users.”
The UAE market has already a wide plethora of maid booking apps and websites. These include Helpling, Justmop, Matic, and Maid.ae among many others. According to Abdulghani, competitors offer home cleaning services, whereas Maideme’s services are more comprehensive and include ironing, deep cleaning, steaming, babysitting, moving home appliances and furniture.
The software Maidme provides for cleaning companies, enables them to manage the maid’s schedule and optimize the service provided to the client. It also facilitates accounting and analytics.
Feature image via Freepik.