When it comes to trusted butlers or valets, the name Alfred is right up there with Jeeves. It’s no surprise, then, that Marcela Sapone and Jess Beck took the name of Bruce Wayne’s butler for their service company, Alfred.
They launched at Disrupt SF back in September; it works with existing on-demand services such as Washio (for laundry and dry cleaning), Blue Apron (for grocery delivery), and Exec Cleaning (for house cleaning). The difference is, the service integrates all these routine chores and start to automate them as it gets to know you better. Plus, a real, live person — your Alfred — comes to your home to deliver goods and pick up packages twice a week. They also handle special requests, like sending your mom a birthday card.
Knowing this is a priority for users, Alfred insists the people you’re entrusting put away your laundry and stock your fridge have been vetted and subjected to rigorous background checks. When you sign up for the service, you receive your Alfred’s picture and a bio. Many of their crew are working parents or retired people, Sapone said at Disrupt.
The idea is that each Alfred will get to know his or her client, and the service will get smarter and smarter. If it creeps you out a bit that stranger will know how much milk you go through in a week or how much starch you like on your collars, perhaps you can take comfort in Michel de Montaigne: “No man is a hero to his own valet.”
The price of this personalization is $99 a month. That’s the base price, for having your Alfred pick up prescriptions at the pharmacy and putting away your groceries. The cost of the food itself or the price of house cleaning service aren’t included. However, the payments and scheduling for each service are all integrated in Alfred, so there’s no need to open individual apps.
Sapone and Beck know theirs is a niche market; Alfred is for busy households with an income of over $75,000 a year. It’s a luxury service for those who prize their leisure time and don’t mind handing their dirty laundry off to someone else.