8 SA companies using the Uber business model to disrupt their industries

Domestly app

Whether you like it or not, Uber’s on-demand business model has resulted in a flood of companies using a similar strategy.

There are Uber-like services for rival taxi companies, doctors, massages and even dagga, showing that the business model is here to stay.

What about South African services that use this strategy?


picup wechat

PicUp promises to take the hassle out of package deliveries by harnessing the power of WeChat.

The delivery service boasts a fleet of couriers at your fingertips, using everything from bicycles to cars to transport your goods. Essentially, if it can be hauled on a bicycle or put on the backseat of a car (for bigger parcels), you’re good to go. The app does understandably prohibit transporting people “no matter how big or small”.

As for pricing, the company charges a R40 base fee for the first five kilometres in addition to any further distances travelled.



Don’t want to use WeChat? Or maybe PicUp just isn’t for you. Whatever the reason, WumDrop is an alternative delivery service using a familiar model.

WumDrop, available on Android, iOS and via your browser, offers courier services for R12 per kilometre, along with a minimum fare of R50.

The service also prides itself on not pricing parcels by weight, saying “if the WumDrop Hero can carry it, we can deliver it”.



We’ve covered it before, but the getTOD app is another local service that seems to successfully adapt the on-demand model.

The app connects users with a plumber, electrician, locksmith or handyman, using an interface that’s heavily inspired by Uber. In fact, it also offers the ability to track and rate suppliers and delivers an estimated cost for work.

getTOD is available for free on Android and iOS.


helpout app

No, getTOD isn’t the only smart repairman service around, as HelpOut is another app worth looking at.

Aside from plumbers, electricians and handymen, the app also lists categories for DSTV installations, alarm repairs and takeaways. The company has recently implemented a “Billboard” feature too, so users can find various specials in their area. Not quite an Uber-inspired feature…

HelpOut is available for free on Android and iOS.



One of the more innovative offerings on the list, Domestly aims to do for domestic workers what Uber did for drivers.

Users can book one of 500 domestic workers via the app (or even an entire cleaning team), letting you pay via the service too. The app takes its cues from Uber too, allowing you to rate the workers after the job is done.

Domestly is free to download on Android and iOS.



Another cleaning service makes the list in the form of the pioneering SweepSouth.

The service doesn’t have a mobile app, but users are able to book and specify cleaning sessions via the SweepSouth website.

The service charges R38 an hour for cleaning, but you’ll need to book three hours at the very least. Users can also specify other tasks, such as doing laundry and cleaning the fridge/oven/walls/windows.



Too busy to do the laundry? Too lazy? Whatever the case may be, Washr fetches and cleans your filthy clothes, getting them back to you within 24 hours.

What about pricing? Well, the web-based service charges R26 per kilogram for a wash and fold (a five kilogram minimum order applies here), R34 for a wash, iron and fold (the same minimum order applies) and R60 for a pair of shoes to be washed.

The service also offers dedicated ironing and dry cleaning options. Before you get on the bandwagon, you must know that it’s exclusive to Cape Town, unfortunately.

Just Laundry


Live in Johannesburg? Then Just Laundry is a great alternative to Washr, offering pretty much the same service.

Just Laundry, which is available via your browser, offers to fetch your laundry, clean it and get it back to you within “24 to 48 hours”.

The service charges R24 per kilogram for a wash and fold (with a minimum of five kilograms), R32 per kilogram for a wash, iron and fold (the same five kilogram minimum applies) and R80 for each pair of shoes.

Again, it’s worth noting that Just Laundry is exclusive to Johannesburg and Polokwane.

Hadlee Simons


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