Startups in China are now competing to become the go-to platforms for on-demand home services, connecting home cleaners to home owners. These startups let users schedule through their apps or WeChat accounts, and cleaners will bring their own cleaning equipment to customers’ homes.

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Scheduling via the app (left: 1Jiajie; right: Ayibang)

Two of such startups are Ayibang (“aunty’s help”) and 1jiajie (e-home services). To standardize expectations for homes, both hire and certify their own crew of home cleaners.

Compared to traditional maid services that people would book through an agent, on-demand cleaning apps make costs more transparent and booking easier. For maids, it gets rid of intermediary fees, just like the startup Helijia that does away with the middlemen for manicurists.

Cleaning apps especially help part-time maids. Home service agents rarely invest in training part-time employees, which has resulted in widespread unsatisfactory service. Part-time employees, on the other hand, often slack off because their service is one-time. But home cleaners who have signed up to services like Ayibang must be encouraged to perform better because of the rating system.

Ranking of home cleaners

Rating of home cleaners

Local listing giant 58.com and Ganji have also brought in home services, but they are merely navigating users to agents and maids.

Ayibang is operating in Beijing, Shanghai and Chengdu and 1jiajie is currently in Beijing and Shanghai. Their services start with cleaning but have extended to on-demand laundry, which is another much tapped turf by Chinese O2O startups. Cooking and pet grooming could be added to its suite of services, Ayibang said in an interview (article in Chinese).

Similar home cleaning startups in the US are Homejoy and Handybook. The latter has partnered up with Airbnb to improve the quality of guest experience and offers a perk to hosts.

(featured picture source: 1jiajie)