Ali Cagatay Ozcan and Kerem Kuyucu, founders of Justmop, at their office in Jumeirah Lakes Towers, Dubai. The duo is now looking to expand the business to include countries such as Saudi Arabia, Bahrain or Kuwait. Image Credit: A.K Kallouche/Gulf News

Dubai: You all know what they say about necessity being the mother of all inventions ... or something that sounds similar. But in Justmop’s case, it came true.

The Dubai-based start-up connects individuals looking for house cleaning services with pre-screened professionals. Ali Cagatay Ozcan, co-founder and CEO, told Gulf News that the idea came to his mind when he was bringing his wife to Dubai after getting married in 2015. And she was very choosy.

“I was supposed to find a maid to my wife’s standard upfront and I tried six of them before she arrived in Dubai,” he said.

“I was a bit satisfied with the sixth and I called the cleaning company. But they could not find my details of the maid who came to my home. Thus, it became clear that the people were not able to find a good cleaning service that satisfies their need in the city.”

After that frustrating experience, Ozcan spoke to his partner Kerem Kuyucu, who along with him was a founding member of Rocket internet Turkey and had worked in Foodonclick.com. So, they gave birth to the Justmop marketplace in 2015 as a self-funded start-up with operations in Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Sharjah.

“We have tied-up with more than 150 cleaning services companies to offer users with well-trained maids. We have an artificial intelligence software to keep track of the company, maid and customer ratings and reviews. According to the customer rating, we give the same cleaner to the customer or a different cleaner, depending on the availability or preference.

“Once we partner up, we give the cleaners on-boarding training and conduct interviews with each of their cleaners. Simply, we handpick the cleaning providers that we work with,” he said.

Cleaning companies are often slow moving and operate on antiquated models, he said. Ozcan said that his firm provides software for the cleaning companies to generate stats and an overview of daily operations in real-time, allowing them to schedule appointments, manage clients and accounting processes.

When a customer books through the software, she can see the available slots and the preferences to book a maid. The customer can pay either with cash or credit card through the mobile app or website. Because of the technological advantage, Ozcan said the company is growing 20 per cent every month.

Justmop charges Dh35 per hour for more than four hours booking, Dh40 for three hours and Dh50 for two hours, apart from cleaning materials.

While none of the cleaning companies offer their services on Fridays, Justmop does so on weekends too. As of now, it has done more than 150,000 cleanings with an average per cleaning of more than 3.5 hours.

“We are planning to sign an agreement with an insurance company in three weeks to provide insurance to the homes. When a maid cleans the house when the owner is not around and if something happens, the insurance will cover the total cost. There will be no additional premium to it,” Ozcan said.

The start-up closed its seed round in April last year, led by Nevzat Aydin, founding CEO of Yemeksepeti in Turkey and two other Turkish venture capitalists.

“We are finalising our second round — Series A — of investment, that includes current investors and two more parties, of more than $1 million. We have made over $6 million in total gross revenue so far,” he said.

“We are also planning to spread our wings to two more countries like Saudi Arabia, Bahrain or Kuwait. We are doing our due diligence. While homeowners are the target audience at the moment, we plan to offer office services and upholstery cleaning with the new investment round and spread to other emirates in the UAE,” he said.

The team has also partnered with Talabat, Eat, Reserveout, Joi, Careem and Instashop, and people can book through them and get discounts.