Hailed as an Uber for cleaning services in Finland, this young Nordic startup may have an especially easy time growing because of one crucial Finnish policy
The idea for Moppi — the Finnish word for a mop — came to Matti Tiainen, the founder and CMO, after he witnessed the problems and taboos that surround both the cleaning industry and profession in Finland; the service is considered the privilege of a selected few, while the profession is largely viewed as beneath the dignity of most Finns.
“We realized that it was a slight taboo in Finland to talk about it as a lot of people see it as a luxury service. We started off by mapping the markets, seeing how the industry has developed and naturally we learned how to clean as well. Soon we found out that Finland is in great shape in terms of cleaning services as the Finnish government has an incentive program in place which means that Finns are able to deduct 45% of the cleaning costs. There are plenty of professional cleaners and customers — they are just not talking about it,” Matti Tiainen, the founder of Moppi, told Geektime.
In fact, because the Finnish government is heavily subsidizing cleaning services means that the black market is not an attractive option for most cleaners and customers.
“The tax deduction means that the black market in the cleaning business [is] very limited, as people want to use the tax benefits and this is why we also help our cleaning professionals to pay their taxes as they need to be eligible for the tax program,” Tiainen said.
With Moppi’s online platform, the customer defines the location, services required, size of the apartment, specific cleaning needs, such as the size of the apartment, and which areas should be cleaned. After defining the parameters, the service finds the nearest available cleaner.
“Moppi is a marketplace where the best independent cleaning professionals are matched with customers and happy homes. We interview all the independent cleaning professionals in a 2-week vetting program. We also insure the cleaning up to 1 million euros per customer and provide a secure payment and a 100% satisfaction guarantee. Basically, we provide trust, simplicity and experience,” Tiainen added.
Moppi currently generates revenues through commissions.
“We are in a good position as cleaners get up to 20% more pay than they would get working for some cleaning company, customers pay less and we as the marketing platform provider can also make our cut,” Tiainen said.
Tiainen wants Moppi to become the operational network of cleaning professionals
“We want to create a virtual office, marketing platform, and everything you need to run your cleaning business under one roof. This means that we have a big development road-map ahead but already now we get some really good feedback from both cleaners and customers. This will result in extreme scalability, as in the near future everything apart from the personal interview will happen through the platform,” Tiainen added.
Moppi is currently without major competitors in Finland, but global players have already emerged.
“Local competitors are naturally the traditional cleaning service providers. Two-person cleaning shops are quite common in the cleaning business and they also seem to be the most popular. Globally speaking, the U.S. based Handy is perhaps the most well-known, growing fast and has taken its first steps in Europe. The biggest competitor in Europe is the Berlin based Helpling, also seeing rapid growth,” Tiainen said.
As for funding, Moppi is backed by an angel investor, but is looking to launch a seed round in the fall.
Featured Image Credit: Moppi