In 2012, the TidyPal team met while working in the financial district of Singapore. Two expats and 2 locals, we had the sudden realization that despite living in one of the most developed countries in the world, we had to resort to somewhat medieval methods of getting a cleaner – it was so bad, one of us was desperately trying to poach one of the cleaners in the local hawker centre to clean his apartment!
We decided this was ridiculous and that’s how TidyPal came to exist.
It was the things that annoyed us about getting a cleaner that we now fix with TidyPal:
Who needs an agency in the first place? What is their value-add? Why do I need to pay $200 as a one-off fee?
Why do I need to commit for a year/6 months in order to get a regular cleaner?
Why the hell do cleaners get paid so little (did you know that around 60% of cleaners in Singapore earn less than $5 per hour!?) and I pay so much?
Why are cleaners so bad? They act dodgy - either leave early, don’t come at all or do a poor job? (It didn’t take us long to figure that one out…hint: it comes to incentives)
So we addressed all of the above:
- We created TidyPal as a cool web site that puts together cleaners keen to make a decent wage and people like us who couldn’t be bothered with cleaning and just wanted to relax. Just like that… no agency, no contracts!
- We then needed to solve the security issue … and we did! We interview every potential cleaner, check their identity and criminal record, we test them in what we call an “assessment centre” - we have actually had every cleaner on the website clean our own homes.
- Most importantly, the people who made it through this rigorous process get a fair wage on their own terms.