South African tech startup disrupts home improvement sector 

https://unsplash.com/photos/A1g0oeX29ec

Local tech startup E-FFICIENCY has launched a South African first end-to-end concierge service for home improvements. 

The platform is a one-stop-shop for home improvement services

The innovative online marketplace is a South African first end-to-end concierge service for home improvement services. It enables local users to access instant quotations from a range of service providers and make secure payments for services. 

Founded in 2019, E-FFIECIENCY aims to be an industry disruptor to the traditional home improvement industry. 

In a statement to Ventureburn, Raeef Meyer CEO of E-FFICIENCY explains that the online home services market in the country remains largely untapped. 

 “This market is incredibly traditional as home improvement services still involve calling up several contractors for a quote. We believe it is ripe for disruption, by making it simpler property owners who just don’t have the time to deal with the hassle of poor customer service or bad workmanship.”

How does it work?

The service is accessible via E-FFICIENCY customised Facebook Messenger integration that is a one-stop-shop for its concierge service. The customised Messenger integration provides access to insurance company accredited suppliers in general handyman services such as painting, ceiling repairs, and more. 

In catering to Covid-29 protocols, the startup has created Covid-friendly video consultations where home improvement experts are able to guide customers through the steps of their projects, share information about the job, and access an instant quote. 

Payments are made securely via registered financial services provider Truzo, an escrow service. The startup functions as the middle man as it manages any queries and complaints from users.

Meyer comments on the use of Facebook Messenger to provide easy access to consumers in South Africa. 

“We decided that instead of requiring consumers to download another app, we would provide them with our services using an app that over 20 million South Africans already have, Facebook Messenger. Some of the benefits include saving storage space; using a platform that South Africans already familiar with; the superior user experience; 24/7 availability and instantaneous responses.”

Safety first

Ensuring the safety of its users, E-FFICIENCY guarantees the safety of its customer purchases and contractor obligations. 

Meyer elaborates on the startup’s importance of ensuring a secure transaction between consumers and registered services. 

“Consumers and service providers both need peace of mind. Consumers need to know that the service provider is going to successfully deliver the required service and not abscond with their money. Contractors on the other hand need to be reassured that they are going to be paid once the project is completed.” 

User data is extracted from their existing profile which is secured by Facebook. Users are ensured that all information gathered is stored in an encrypted database that is password protected. When images are sent by users, it is sent via an ephemeral link and none of the information is made available to any other party. 

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Featured image: Greyson Joralemon via Unsplash 

Ishani Chetty: Editor
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