Need some pocket-sized legal advice? Zak Smith has an app for that
In an age where time is money, a wave of mobile apps has flooded the market, offering cost-effective solutions for the less glamorous parts of domestic life. From cleaners to handymen, ironing to dry cleaning, there seems to be a Mr Fixit on every iPhone now, and with so much choice, home life will never be the same again. Who knew chores could be this profitable?
The Queen bee of domestic help applications, TaskRabbit supplies ‘taskers’ to do anything from cleaning to handywork, packing for a move or a personal assistant for the day. In much the same way as Uber has disrupted the taxi market, so TaskRabbit is attempting to disrupt the job market, empowering it’s freelance ‘taskers’ to work when and how they want within a database of potential customers continually growing since the company’s inception in 2008. TaskRabbit is changing the perception of a social network by incorporating the notion of a service network, ensuring that no one will be without help should they need it. Most importantly, each ‘tasker’ is insured by TaskRabbit, meaning if they smash a vase during a dusting, TaskRabbit has you covered. The app is operational in London and nineteen U.S. cities.
Having already acquired its main rival Washbox in 2014, Laundrapp are taking London by storm, supplying a laundry service that prides itself on speed and efficiency. They secured £4 million of funding from the likes of ICAP founder Michael Spencer by this time last year; and are now growing their offering and expanding across the UK. They’re challenging not only traditional Laundrettes and dry cleaners, but also the concept of in-house washing machines, particularly in cities where people may not have time to do their own washing. Time is money, you know.
Another London based home services start-up, Bizzby aims to ensure clarity of price and service from plumbers to electricians. Most people don’t really understand the true cost implications or specific services of handymen, and can often get ripped off. Bizzby aims to do away with this.
Cashless, instant and easy to navigate, the likes of Bizzby and TaskRabbit are levelling the playing field for consumers and also empowering small tradesmen to grow their businesses in a dynamic and efficient way.
UpCounsel (US only)
Finally, if something in the house really goes wrong and you need advice to rely on, one recently launched US- based app proves that just about any service can now be accessed with a finger swipe. UpCounsel provides a marketplace for legal services, giving the average joe access to high level legal advice at the fraction of the cost a large corporate would charge. Having raised over $10m in funding, it will no doubt appear in the UK soon.