'Uber of house cleaning' app launches in Edmonton
'No one has really touched cleaning. Maybe it's not sexy or maybe they don't understand it'
A new Edmonton-based app aims to become the "Uber of house cleaning."
"Everyone has watched the growth of Uber and Skip the Dishes and all these other on-demand services and, for whatever reason, ... no one has really touched cleaning," said Angus Gastle, CEO of CleanNow on CBC's Radio Active.
"Maybe it's not sexy or maybe they don't understand it."
CleanNow launched in Edmonton in November with plans to expand to Calgary and then across Canada, he said.
Gastle said he has already connected with 5,000 cleaners throughout the country.
The idea came out of conversations with people who have used regular cleaning services, but found it difficult to find someone that would stick around, Gastle said.
Clients enter information about the size or their home, the number of bathrooms and bedrooms in the app and it responds with a price quote.
All cleaners that work with CleanNow have a commercial licence and are insured and bonded, he said. They work in teams of two for security reasons and split the fee 70-30 with the company.
Dawit Adem and his wife Rita Negasi started working for CleanNow when it launched.
Adem said the pay is much better than his night job at the University Alberta and with some positive reviews through the app, they are receiving a request to clean nearly every day.
At this point, the couple cleans two homes in a day.
But if CleanNow becomes too much like Uber — employing casual cleaners and not people like him who want to work full-time — he would find it much less attractive.
Right now it's a reliable source of good work, "but if it's only a house a month then it's not interesting," he said.
"I want to quit my job, I want to clean with CleanNow more," he said, "but I'm not sure with this company what the future will be."
He said he'll be watching to see if it's still a good source of income as the company expands.
"This is not like Uber and driving," he said, "This is a job. It's cleaning and we need time to clean and we have to be professional."
With files from Julia Lipscombe