He must be the only startup CEO in Berlin who cleans other people’s apartments for a living – and having recruited 800 cleaners in just 48 hours, it’s no wonder CleanBerlin has already started attracting attention. It’s the brainchild of TurnYourTime’s Sergiej Rewiakin and provides a fast, cheap and easy-to-use platform that allows clients to book a cleaning lady at short notice.
Launched three weeks ago, the reaction to what was initally an experiment for Sergiej was overwhelming, persuading him that there was a big enough – and eager enough – market to be exploited. Dubbed the myTaxi for cleaners, CleanBerlin has so far sold 200 hours of work in Berlin.
Sergiej recognised that it was mainly Polish women cleaning his friends’ apartments and so advertised in a Berlin newspaper in Polish, and watched the signups begin to roll in. He says that 99 percent of the cleaners are women from Poland who have a high level of education such as a Masters or an undergraduate degree.
As for the clientele, apparently Berlin has a lot of males slacking off on their cleaning duties. With 30 clients, 15 of whom are already subscribed to long term deals, there are a mere two female clients.
The cleaners are based in their own districts, and so when Sergiej receives a request he sends out a group email and the first one to reply gets the job. The service provides the option of an express clean for €15 per hour, a package of 10 hours at €14 per hour, or 30 hours at €13.30 per hour.
Sergiej is aware of the big competition he faces in the cleaning industry but argues that no other company is as flexible as CleanBerlin because many don’t advertise their cost and are more expensive. By cutting out the middleman, Sergiej, says, he is offering cheaper services , even though the company takes a 20 per cent cut.
He has now redirected all his attention from TurnYourTime to his “dirty business” with CleanBerlin, and said: “I want to make it so flexible that the cleaner will get a notification to where the client is on her phone and she can arrive within minutes. It will be like myTaxi for cleaning ladies. myTaxi has 500 cars available in Berlin, we have 800 cleaning ladies.”
CleanBerlin has been approached by potential angel investors but Sergiej claims that, in these early stages, he wouldn’t know what to do with the money. His future plans are to form a partnership with one of the big players in the cleaning industry.