“It is clean.”
Literally. That’s what the word Kisafi means when translated from Swahili, and that’s what Janet Otieno and the rest of her team hope you will say, when they are done doing your laundry and cleaning your home.
“See us as the Uber for laundry and home cleaning.” Janet says, “Our users request premium laundry pickup and drop off and low cost home cleaning services with a tap of the button via our free “Kisafi” Android app or at Kisafi.com”.
Laundry and home cleaning, on-demand. It’s a little scary how many entrepreneurs in different fields are keying into the on-demand economy. From petrol, to oil changes, private jets, car washes, blood and many others. Still, I think this model has been validated by the sheer number of (funded) startups offering the same service across the world, and some have argued that the traditional industry is ripe for disruption.
She continues, “The value we bring is convenience, quality and price advantage. Compared to other laundry services that average Ksh. 2000 for 7-10 kg of laundry, we offer a flat rate ‘all you can fit’ per bag pricing. The bags typically hold 1-2 weeks of laundry.”
I’m going to keep my eyes peeled for how well this startup does in the months following their launch. Their target demographic is Laundry for me, is chucking similar-colored clothes into a front-loader washing machine and waiting for 95 minutes before spreading them outside to dry completely. Hardly an inconvenience. That is, asides from the ironing bit. Hate, hate ironing.
The business will live or die by the quality of its service, and Janet understands that. Social media (or 21st century word-of-mouth, as I like to call it) is an integral part of their growth strategy. Initial customers will talk about the service to other potential customers who will in turn use the service and talk about it some more. In theory.
How does Kisafi get the cleaners for people’s homes? Janet says they have partnered with a local agency to provide a pipeline of professional cleaners to work on a contract basis. Keeps overhead low. If you ask me, Kisafi should take it a step further, and introduce a points-based system, and allow customers rate each cleaner based on the quality of their service, a la Uber.
At the moment, co-founders, Janet Otieno, FO Odunga and Funsho Finnih have kept the lights on at the moment via a mix of personal funds & angel investment. They are open to have conversations with potential angel investors. They will launch on April 20, covering Westlands, Kilimani/Kileleshwa, Lavington, CBD & the surrounding areas, and before the end of the year, open up to Mombasa and a bunch of other East African cities.