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Silicon Valley starlet heads to NZ to launch Kiwi tech startup

26 Sep 2014

Two Silicon Valley educated executives have launched a tech startup in New Zealand which they say is designed to "revolutionise" the local cleaning industry.

Kiwi Kenneth Ho met Charles La while studying at Stanford University and says the new business venture will address a number of shortcomings within the current market offering.

La also works as a software engineer for Google and has previously worked for Microsoft and Hulu. He was employed at Facebook during the company’s infancy, developing ad targeting systems.

Ho, who was raised in Auckland and has spent the past eight years as an investment banker in Hong Kong, was inspired by the rapid adoption of cloud technology internationally and believes there is significant potential in this market.

He says there are limitations with the traditional models of booking and delivering cleaning services that are currently used in New Zealand which can lead to a breakdown in service quality.

Ho says his new site SpongeHero.co.nz will use a sophisticated algorithm to pair independent cleaning contractors with customers based on a number of criteria relevant to their needs and the cleaner’s availability.

"One of the primary issues Kiwis have when taking on a new cleaner is the risk associated with monitoring their performance - particularly when the client is not present at the location," Ho says.

"The new cloud based platform that goes online today will use technology to allow customers greater flexibility and efficiency when making bookings and monitoring the quality of service.

"Future enhancements to the platform will provide clients with more visibility around the time it takes the cleaner to perform the service, and the actual work that has been performed, both of which have been major issues within the industry previously."

Ho says there are plans to bring ongoing upgrades to the site which will include the ability for clients to monitor in real time when a cleaner has arrived and departed the premises, giving them greater transparency on exactly how long they spent cleaning.

In addition, their new mobile app will allow clients to manage their existing cleaning schedules and book appointments remotely.

Future upgrades will allow clients to communicate privately with their cleaner and for the cleaner to submit a custom report with details of services provided as well as any relevant notes at the conclusion of the service.

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