As an MBA student at the University of Chicago’s Booth school, Kathleen Wilson was struck with new ideas while looking at enterprises that provided daily housekeeping in one of her class. Made the concentration and physical structure of many apartment buildings, she wondered why a housekeeper couldn’t similarly push a cart down the auditorium and spend an hour or reductions in each unit.
To test out her theory, Wilson and a classmate started cleaning the apartments of friends, spending 30 minutes to an hour at a time and trying to establish a reasonable cost degree for the study. Armed with enough data, Wilson then landed at a local real estate tech accelerator, formed her company, and locked down her first property handling company client, Waterton — and her efforts have been gaining momentum since.
In fact, her 20 -month-old startup, The Minte, which now applies roughly 60 people, is today announcing that it has raised $2.25 million in a round that brings the company’s total seed funding to $4.7 million. Dundee Venture Capital resulted this newest round; other investors in the company include MATH Venture Partners, Revolution’s Rise of the Rest Seed Fund, Firebrand Ventures, Blue Note Ventures and numerous angel investors. We had a quick converse with Wilson earlier this week to learn more.
TC: Can you tell us a bit more about your clients? Are they all property management companies like Waterton ? strong>
KW: We merely provide service to apartments and condos, so our patrons are currently property management corporations such as Greystar, Bozzuto, Lincoln Property Company and CA Ventures. We have just under 70 properties in Chicago, another 20 in D.C. and we’ve been launching six to 10 new properties in each marketplace each month.
TC: The Minte have committed themselves to make a housekeeper available to a property full-time, correct ? strong>
KW: Yes. A housekeeper is located on website for inhabitants to book cleaning services with them, so that inhabitants are provided with consistency and trust. To be clear, our housekeepers are full-time Minte employees with health benefits and paid time off. We retain our housekeeping cart and supplies at each property, and there’s a place for housekeepers to run if they have a bit of downtime, although that’s rare.
We do have some housekeepers who split their hour between properties, either if the property is smaller or if we’re still in the first couple months of service and still building demand.
TC: What induces the company think people would prefer to work with The Minte versus housekeepers they know? These are trust-heavy relationships, a feature that other housecleaning startups have overlooked to their harm . strong>
KW: Exactly. We bring the personal trust by having the same housekeeper allocated to the property, which allows the housekeeper to get to know the residents, and we bring the corporate side of trust by having insurance, QA by both managers and the ability to send a backup housekeeper if someone is out sick. We also have top-notch, live customer service if there is ever an issue.
TC: What does your quality assurance process involve ? strong>
KW: It’s a multi-tier process. First, we’ve enforced an eight-day develop program for all new housekeepers. Second, housekeepers and housekeeping directors with whom “were working” almost always have hotel backgrounds, having run at the Waldorf Astoria, The Conrad and Sofitel, to name a few. Third, housework administrators do random spot check of service. And fourth, users can rate and comment on every service, which we review in real day. It’s company policy to reach out to the resident any time something is less than four stars.
Also worth mentioning: our products are eco-friendly, P& G products, so there’s no compromise on the quality of our supplies.
TC: How do clients pay, and how much do they pay? Is this a subscription modeling ? strong>
KW: They can pay a la carte — paying $30 for a hotel-style service, $90 for a deep clean for a one-bedroom apartment, for example — but over half of our cleans are residents who are on a recurring bundle. For clients on a bundle, they can customize how many deep cleans and/ or hotel-style cleans they have every four weeks, including which days those cleans occur.
TC: The home services framework is more prone to leakage, intending people form relationships and stop using the platform. Is this a concern ? strong>
KW: Our staff members shall be full-time, so this is essentially a non-issue for us. With our housekeepers on our schedule throughout the week, it’s not feasible for someone to poach them.
Potentially a resident could do this on a weekend, but in our experience, one wants housekeepers to come when they are not home. Furthermore, the property director would tell us if our housekeeper was get keys outside of their Minte schedule.
TC: And how are you marketing the company ? strong>
KW: Through our partnership with the property administrators, primarily.
TC: How will you use your new funding ? strong>
KW: We’ll continue to enhance our tech. Our app is out this week, and we’re rolling out our smart home integration in the coming months. We’re making our button — which is now being physical hardware that goes on the wall inside each unit — more readily available. We’ll likewise expand more into condos and corporate dwelling and target our third metropoli in early 2019.