Domestic chores mobile app Agent Bong has made its way to Singapore's shores.
Started by a group of young tech entrepreneurs from Hong Kong last year, Agent Bong - with Bong meaning "help" in Cantonese ("帮") - provides an online, app-based marketplace where homeowners can hire vetted domestic helpers for their household needs. Besides offering cleaning services, the company also provides services for cooking, grocery shopping, babysitting, eldercare services and even pet-sitting.
Customers need to complete an in-app form stating the services they require, frequency and timing. They are then matched with helpers whose profiles include a photo, experience and any relevant qualifications, on top of their availability. Once a service is requested by the user, the helper is also required to accept the job on their end. Homeowners choose the domestic helper who best meets their needs, instead of a randomly assigned helper, providing a level of quality control.
There are currently more than 150 helpers under Agent Bong, who are either Singaporeans or Permanent Residents. Agent Bong screens them by ensuring that they have the appropriate skills and experience through in-person interviews. The company has also added licensed nurses to its team, to support customers who require eldercare services.
According to Agent Bong, its services are especially relevant to Singapore's growing number of dual-income households and an ageing population. So far, about 20 percent of the job requests in Singapore include non-cleaning services, with about 10 per cent requesting for cooking, eight per cent for running errands such as shopping and two per cent for pet-sitting.
"As life in Singapore grows increasingly hectic, homeowners often struggle with household chores after a long day at work. Many homeowners are also looking for alternatives to live-in domestic help, yet require the same level of assurance that the household chores will be done well," said Sam Ng, Co-Founder at Agent Bong.
"We've created Agent Bong to extend help in any way possible, akin to the role of a full-time domestic helper who covers more than just household chores. We will continue to survey the market needs and at the same time recruit helpers who can meet customers' requests," he added.
Since its launch in Hong Kong last August, Agent Bong has served 8,000 customers and completed approximately 60,000 hours of jobs. It hopes that the Singapore launch will help increase the number of matches and recruit more helpers to respond to customer needs.
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