Hello Alfred — the startup that assigns in-home assistants to take care of your recurring chores and tasks — has announced the launch of a new service tier that will provide more properties and residents with access to the company’s underlying technology.
The company, which won the Startup Battlefield competition at our 2014 Disrupt event in San Francisco, looks to unlock valuable time for users by handling the long list of small routine items that add up over the course of a week and still require human oversight.
Hello Alfred partners with building owners to provide residents with dedicated home managers that assist with various errands and on-request services, such as apartment cleaning, grocery delivery, laundry services, prescription refills and more. Users have a direct line of communication with the company’s hospitality team through Hello Alfred’s mobile app, where they can manage tasks and set recurring appointments.
The new platform, “Powered by Alfred,” acts as a fairly similar but more accessible alternative to the company’s current offering. Residents in buildings equipped with “Powered by Alfred” are given access to all of the company’s solutions with the exception of the weekly visits from dedicated home managers currently included in the existing service. By excluding the dedicated in-home service, Hello Alfred is able to offer its new service tier at a lower price point and integrate with more buildings faster.
Property owners using “Powered by Alfred” can customize packages to include the services that best fit the needs of their residents and can upgrade or change service levels at any time. Both residents and building owners using the new platform are also given more control and direct access to Hello Alfred’s proprietary technology, allowing users to control functions that normally fall under the purview of the company’s dedicated home managers.
Additionally, with the launch of the new offering, Hello Alfred will be consolidating its various solutions under one central app, where residents and building managers can handle all inquiries, appointments and payments.
The launch of “Powered by Alfred” seems to be a natural evolution for the company, which seeks to make its offering more accessible to all residents of all backgrounds.
Hello Alfred previously employed a consumer-facing business model, in which customers would pay a monthly subscription fee for the array of in-home services and access to the company’s team of hospitality specialists, referred to as Alfreds.
However, around the time of the startup’s Series B round, Hello Alfred adopted the model of partnering directly with property owners to offer its services complimentary to residents. The partnership structure was not only a more conducive model for scaling but also enabled the company to offer the same services to any resident in an Alfred-equipped building, regardless of socioeconomic status.
Hello Alfred quickly built up a sizeable backlog of property owners hoping to integrate the platform into their units, according to the company. However, the task of maintaining dedicated staffing for every unit in every location made it difficult for the Alfred team to satisfy its swelling demand, having to instead focus resources primarily on luxury properties.
With “Powered by Alfred” removing in-home management services, the company has been able to improve accessibility and better satisfy the market’s appetite for its services, now rolling out the offering to non-luxury buildings and properties that previously sat in its pipeline.
Behind the launch of the new platform — which the company has piloted over the course of several months — Hello Alfred has increased its market share by more than 50 percent, with its services now available in more than 150,000 residential properties.
“We want Alfred to be a utility. We want to make “help” a universal utility and make it something anyone can access,” Hello Alfred CEO and co-founder Marcela Sapone told TechCrunch. “We wanted to find a way where we could accelerate growth and get human-focused help into urban buildings to help most urban environments.”
The launch represents the latest step in Hello Alfred’s broader expansion plans, which appear to have ramped up in recent months. Hello Alfred is now active in 16 cities — including Houston, where the company plans to launch next week — with its new offering available across all of its active markets. The startup already boasts an impressive partnership roster that includes more than 20 of the largest property owners in the U.S., and the Alfred team expects its new offering to open up further opportunities for partnerships across different property classes and different stages of a resident’s life cycle.
“As WeWork transformed commercial real estate, Hello Alfred is transforming residential real estate, and redefining what it means to live in a city today,” said Sapone. “This business expansion allows us to not only satisfy increasing demand for our service, but to connect every part of the resident experience — from the moment you sign your lease, until the moment you move to another Hello Alfred building.”
To date, the company has raised just over $63.5 million in venture capital, according to data from PitchBook, from prestigious investment brands that include New Enterprise Associates, Spark Capital, SV Angel, Moderne Ventures, Invesco and others.
Source: Tech Crunch Startups | Hello Alfred launches new platform to reach more buildings and improve accessibility