Fairy wants to disrupt the housekeeping industry with flat-rate subscriptions

fairy subsciption housekeeping
A new startup called Fairy wants to shake up the house cleaning industry by offering hotel-like housekeeping on a subscription basis. The idea is that by providing more frequent house cleaning in a dense urban area, it can lower the costs associated with the service, customize the experience, and provide a better service than traditional housekeeping services.

Pricing for Fairy’s service ranges from $149 per month for twice weekly cleanings that are 30 minutes each to $449 per month for a one-hour cleaning conducted daily Monday through Friday.

In a unique modification, Fairy also allows subscribers to customize their housekeeping services in terms of both cleaning products and the focus of the cleaning service. Each of Fairy’s “housekeeping partners” has access to their own cleaning products, but Fairy offers the option of using a customer’s own green or organic products instead, as well as options for more natural cleaning methods using alternative products like lemon juice or vinegar. An online personal profile also allows customers to leave personalized notes or instructions for their housekeeper.

In addition, Fairy offers a menu of six cleaning plans designed to focus on a customer’s needs. The standard choice is a standard cleaning for each room in the home, while variations offer a deeper clean to the kitchen, bathroom, living room, refrigerator, or bedroom.

The startup launched its operations in the San Francisco Bay Area and New York City in 2016 after raising $4.1 million in funding from investors from CrunchFund as well as several prominent venture capitalists like AngelList founder Naval Ravikant. The company was founded by Nitin Gupta, formerly a managing director on a Box sales team, and Aylok Kohli, who founded a startup called Fastbit that was subsequently acquired by Square.

There have been plenty of house-cleaning startups prior to Fairy (Crunchbase alone lists more than 60 current competitors) — even Amazon is getting into the game, and some employers at startups are even providing unlimited housekeeping. But Fairy’s founders are betting on an Uber-like model that ensures their housekeeping partners can see as many clients in a day as possible.

Fairy’s housekeeper recruiting page claims that housekeeping partners can make up to $900 a week plus tips, and are providing with an appointment management system based on Fairy’s proprietary Android or iPhone app. It’s worth keeping in mind that the average rent in San Francisco alone is more than $3,500 per month. Still, the founders say that by clustering customers, its housekeepers can serve more customers and squeeze in more cleanings than a traditional cleaning service. Fairy is also betting that more frequent cleanings means that housekeepers won’t have to work as hard during each visit.

Another efficiency in Fairy’s system comes from the fact that their housekeeping partners, unlike more traditional services like Merry Maids, don’t lug around vacuums, mops or brooms, using Swiffers instead of heavy cleaning cloths and only vacuuming using the owner’s device. Fairy also doesn’t standardize its services, leaving the way cleaning is done to be negotiated between homeowners and housekeepers.

Offering daily cleanings at a flat rate is definitely a departure from traditional housekeeping services, many of which charge minimum hourly rates and steep per-hour fees. It remains to be seen whether Fairy can break the mold and convince urban customers to give up the hassle of housekeeping.

Cars

Lyft and Aptiv’s self-driving car program has come a long way (but not far enough)

Many companies talk about self-driving cars, but Lyft and Aptiv are already using a fleet of them to transport paying customers in Las Vegas. Hop in for a close look at the tech of autonomous cars, and the challenges they face.
Computing

What is fixed wireless 5G? Here’s everything you need to know

Here's fixed wireless 5G explained! Learn what you need to know about this effective new wireless technology, when it's available, how much it costs, and more. If you're thinking about 5G, this guide can help!
Smart Home

DS3 Clean water-free swatches could be the future of cleaning products

DS3 Clean swatches were on display at CES 2019. The small swatches come in several types, including shampoo and toilet cleaner. They're great for travel, but their real impact is in how such supplies will be shipped and stored.
Deals

Amazon drops prices on Roomba robot vacuums by up to $150

Amazon is offering discounts on iRobot Roombas and other robot vacuums to help you get a leg-up on those chores. We've rounded up the best deals available now and put them all in one place.
Smart Home

Idaho mother says her child’s light-up sippy cup exploded

After a mother filled a Nuby insulated light-up cup with milk, the cup allegedly exploded. The incident caused burns to the mother's hand and face and a stinging sensation in her lungs that required a trip to the hospital.
Smart Home

Project Alias is a ‘smart parasite’ that stops smart speakers from listening

Two designers chose to do something about nosy smart speakers. The result is Project Alias, a "smart parasite" that whispers nonsense to Google Home and Alexa until it hears a specific wake word.
Smart Home

The Instant Pot Lux is a gateway drug into the pleasures of pressure cooking

The 3-quart Instant Pot Lux is one of the most affordable Instant Pots you can buy. Is it still a solid pressure cooker? Here are our thoughts on the Instant Pot Lux, a great IP baseline model.
Smart Home

Amazon patents a technology to help Alexa fight fake voice attacks

Amazon filed a patent this month for a new technology that looks like it would help its digital assistant Alexa fight fake voice attacks that could potentially fool Alexa's biometric security protocols.
Smart Home

Amazon Prime members number more than 100 million in the U.S., survey says

Consumer Intelligence Research Partners estimated there were 101 million U.S. Amazon Prime members as of December 31, 2018. Last April, CEO Jeff Bezos wrote there were more than 100 global million Prime members.
Smart Home

With focus on interoperability, is Nevo Butler a smarter home hub?

Universal Electronics is the latest company getting into the smart home market, announcing at CES 2019 that it intends to market the Nevo Butler, a new smart home hub with onboard A.I. and voice control technology.
Emerging Tech

Awesome Tech You Can’t Buy Yet: camera with A.I. director, robot arm assistant

Check out our roundup of the best new crowdfunding projects and product announcements that hit the web this week. You may not be able to buy this stuff yet, but it sure is fun to gawk!
Emerging Tech

Google’s radar-sensing tech could make any object smart

Computer scientists have shown how Google’s Soli sensor can be used to make dumb objects smart. Here's why radar-powered computing could finally make the dream of smart homes a reality.
Smart Home

The best air fryers deliver fried food with a fraction of the calories

What is this magical mechanism? It's an air fryer, and when used correctly, it can mimic the effects of frying while using just a little bit of oil. You still get that crispy, golden exterior and the fluffy center.
Emerging Tech

‘Tech vest’ prevents Amazon workers from colliding with robot co-workers

Amazon workers at its fulfillment centers are using "tech vests" to help protect them from collisions with their robot co-workers. The robots already have obstacle avoidance sensors, but the belt offers another layer of safety.