Our solution's stage of development:Growth
Hogaru empowers women in the cleaning industry by creating stable employment opportunities. We leverage technology to select, train and manage a team of +500 cleaners.
Hogaru provides solution to a glaring problem in Latin America: the lack of access to job stability and financial security that women in the cleaning industry face. There are 30 million cleaning workers in Latin America. 90% of them work informally, without a contract or social protection, while being paid wages far below the minimum standard.
On the other hand, there are 6 million small and medium sized businesses (SMBs) in Latin America with a need for a reliable and secure cleaning service. At Hogaru we provide SMBs with a safe, high quality cleaning service, while improving working conditions for cleaning professionals. We offer our workers long-term employment, and access to financial services that help bring them the stability they never enjoyed by working independently. Through the use of technology, we are able to support them by training them on the job and connecting them to over 7,000 customers.
Our solution is addressing two main problems:
1. The culture of informality that plagues the cleaning industry, which has made it socially acceptable to hire workers informally by paying them below the legal standards with no social security net.
2. The "on-demand" economy which fosters the de-regulation of labor laws with no protection for the worker's labor rights. Therefore, instead of companies offering good jobs to new employees, you see the origination of "marketplaces" where 1,099 workers receive "on-demand" requests, with no job security nor protection.
Why our solution will solve the problem:
1. We are committed to solving the problem of work informality in the cleaning sector. Cleaning workers are often paid substandard salaries with little regard to their social rights. We employ technology to offer a better legal alternative for our customers and believe that offering a secure, reliable, and easy to schedule service, our customers will understand the value of properly remunerating cleaning workers.
2. The freelancer economic model does little to promote job stability or job security for its workers. We want to demonstrate that direct employment can be a viable business option that can generate good and stable jobs.
Our target outcomes:
Our business model centers on offering direct-employment opportunities for our workers. There are three main advantages of this model vs the on-demand economy’s “freelancer” model:
1. It constitutes a stable income for their families (+26>averagely vs. previous jobs)
2. It increases service quality due to continuous on-the-job training
3. By improving our service quality we reduce worker and client churn rate.
By offering an easy method to schedule reliable cleaning services, our customers are learning that through our company they can promote new working conditions for women in the cleaning sector.
The populations we will benefit initially:
The regions we will benefit initially:
The technologies we employ:
Why our solution is unique:
We currently employ +500 cleaners, all of whom receive a salary above the legal minimum and access to social security benefits. 75% of our cleaning fleet is composed of women affected by the armed conflict. Our workers receive +26% higher averagely income vs. their previous job and 18% reduction in their average working time.
We create a bank account for all of our workers, as part of our plan to help them attain access to financial services. 5% of our workers are enrolled in academic programs to continue their education through partnerships we have established at Hogaru.
Why our solution is human-centered:
We employ women who work in Colombia’s cleaning sector. 80% of them are mothers, 75% of them have been affected by the armed conflict, and only 40% of them have graduated from high school. Due to their lack of education and job skills, these workers have to rely on cleaning as their sole source of income. Unfortunately, cleaning workers have never been treated fairly nor given any opportunities to grow professionally. They make less than the minimum and hardly ever receive access to any social security benefits.
How we will sustain our team financially:
Hogaru started in June 2013 in Bogota, Colombia. It took almost two years to find product market fit: we started as a marketplace and pivoted the company into a proper cleaning company in early 2015. Today, we operate in the three main cities of Colombia (Bogota, Cali, Medellin) and employ +500 people. We serve 2,500 customers, execute +75,000 hours of cleaning services, and have revenues of +$250k USD per month.
Our growth: in 2015, our revenues were $270k USD; in 2016, $1.5M USD. For 2017 and 2018, we estimate our revenues to be +$5M USD and $20M respectively. The company has been funded by external investors in 2015 and 2016: a group of angel investors, the accelerators Y Combinator and Wayra and Velum Ventures, a Colombian venture capital fund. For the future, we foresee the need of an additional round of external capital to consolidate our position and reach breakeven point.
How long we have been working on our solution:4 years
How long it will take to develop a pilot:We have already developed a pilot.
How long it will take to scale beyond our pilot:We have already scaled beyond pilot.
Matteo Cera Founder & CEO, HOGARU