The Startup Disrupting The Cleaning Industry For Domestic Workers

Women make up nearly 90% of residential cleaners in the United States and are a grossly overlooked market segment, but tech startup Spritz has honed in on their value. At the helm is the dynamic duo Kwame Boler and Claudius Mbemba, the former CEO and CTO of neu – a marketplace that connected vacation rental homeowners with housekeepers. Boler and Mbemba endeavored to offer something greater in the market that not only helped house cleaners earn more, but curated a space where women have the opportunity to improve their economic standing. How? By leveraging Spritz’s business-in-a-box platform that automates operations along with offering loyalty rewards and stakeholder opportunities.

With women domestic workers often serving as single mothers and sole breadwinners, the Spritz team aims to improve their market’s prospects in work and life instrumentally. Prior to the support provided by the Spritz app, most residential cleaners lacked the support necessary to increase their profitability and often operate near the poverty line. Read further to learn about Spritz’s app that is tackling industry gaps relative to a market segment projected to become a $12 billion industry domestically.

Facing Structural Barriers

Whether a solopreneur or small business operation, 19 out of 20 cleaning businesses fail within the first year. Systemic barriers are a giant roadblock, as most residential cleaners lack knowledge of back-office administrative needs and business planning. Language barriers also factor in, when 46% of house cleaners speak a foreign language, with a 78% majority who speak Spanish. Technological solutions in the United States are primarily developed in English, and often don’t solve issues of automated pricing and messaging, leaving cleaners ignored and stuck in an analog world. While buying into a franchise cleaning business would solve most of the problems, economically, it’s nearly impossible for women who earn an average of $26,000 a year. Buy-in franchise costs average $30,000 to $50,000, making it a hundred times more expensive than starting a small cleaning business from scratch.

There are plenty of other socio-economic barriers facing women in cleaning. Most cleaners work alone, do not own a computer, or do not have broadband in the home. This makes their smartphone the sole source of communication, scheduling, and where all important financial records are stored. It’s the only office or office staff many of the domestic workers have, which can cause a lack of access to proper information that would help them run a more profitable business. The disconnect creates a lag in setting competitive prices for the worker’s region, covering expenses, or understanding the most advantageous way to file taxes.

Disrupting the Industry

The key differentiator for the Spritz team is filling the industry’s gap in offering tax and compliance solutions, this is a big pain point for residential cleaners. With apps like Venmo, Paypal, CashApp, and Zelle starting to report person-to-person cash payments to the IRS, information on properly filing taxes to save money have become a higher priority.

In addition, bilingual user experiences are not readily available in most US apps, but with a large number of Spanish-speaking residential cleaners it was a no-brainer for Spritz to offer both English and Spanish. The remaining app features are targeted to empower housekeepers to add to the growing number of women entrepreneurs in the United States. Customers will have access to a community of support inside the app for further problem solving. Spritz also aims to offer loyalty rewards that will allow customers to become stakeholders. The more they use the product, the more rewards they will receive. “We see Web3 and tokenomics, as an opportunity to potentially introduce long-term wealth to hard-working people who normally don’t have access to it. We want our customers to have a seat at the table, where it is designed for their hard work to pay off in more ways than one — because without them our product could not exist.”

Boler, Mbemba, and team have placed making an impact at the core of their work. “The emotional connection to solving a problem for people who are often ignored, pushed into the shadows of the financially privileged, and have little access to growth or learning opportunities hits very close to home for our team. Spritz cares about the well-being of its customers as much as it cares about delivering a quality product through innovations in technology,” Boler shares. Spritz aims to forever change the way cleaners are seen by others, but more importantly, how they see themselves.

Spritz: A New Chapter

Spritz was born out of neu, a marketplace that connected cleaners with vacation rental hosts. As Boler and his team gained experience in the cleaning industry, they saw first-hand a greater need they could fulfill with their time, talent, experience, and compassion. Working with women who had been cleaning for either a few months or several years, sparked something in Boler: “Maybe we could become something different, greater, and have a ripple effect on people who work hard just trying to survive and provide for their families . If we can make their lives even a little bit easier, then it will be a job well done.”

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