Eden Life Bridges Home Concierge Service Gap

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The number of people living in African cities is expected to hit 800 million by 2035, up from 500 million today, representing the increasing number of individuals who are moving to cities in search of better economic opportunities.

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Alongside this massive boom in urban growth across the region is a growing need to outsource essential home services, as busy professionals who are spending more hours at work seek to ease the burden of home and personal lifestyle management.

According to Nadayar Enegesi, co-founder at Nigeria-based home concierge platform Eden Life, while the situation is no different for professionals living in developed locations like New York, Paris or London, platforms like DoorDash, Instacart and a host of others are trusted by customers in those cities to take care of their needs.

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“The reason why [those platforms] work is because, as a consumer, you have the confidence that when you outsource these services to these platforms to reclaim your time back, you will get what you paid for. That guarantee does not exist in Africa,” Enegesi told PYMNTS in an interview.

And the reason why it doesn’t exist is simple.

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“Customers want reliability and quality, and suppliers have a hard time meeting those needs due to a lack of standards in the industry and a lack of tools and infrastructure to enable them to deliver [those services],” he explained, adding that despite the huge technological advancements made in the last few decades, the home services sector has been largely neglected.

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See also: Gig Economy Businesses Turn to FinTechs to Enable Instant Payments

This has created an enormous, untapped opportunity in the region — one that Enegesi and his co-founders Prosper Otemuyiwa and Silm Momoh have been exploring since launching Eden Life in 2019.

“There’s a $2 trillion informal services market on the continent. What happens when somebody brings all those people online and enables them to deliver quality and reliability at scale?” he remarked.

Eden Life claims to answer that question, offering customers a tech-enabled platform where they can schedule chef-cooked meals, laundry, cleaning and beauty and wellness services within a single app. According to Enegesi, the growth so far has been significant.

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Since launch, the Lagos-based firm has delivered over 150,000 home services, recording a 15% month-on-month growth rate and an 80% retention rate in the past 12 months alone.

The company also expanded into Kenya last month with the acquisition of Lynx, a Nairobi-based tech firm that connects informal workers to job opportunities across the country. To date, Lynx has facilitated over 50,000 jobs and paid out $4.5 million to more than 2,000 informal sector workers, giving Eden Life a strong head start in the East Africa sub-region.

Automating the Workflow

Through its subscription-based platform, customers can register and choose their preferred service and its frequency, after which a schedule is automatically generated based on their needs.

“[For example], your laundry bag gets picked up on Wednesday and gets brought back to you washed, [and] on Friday the cleaner shows up to your home,” Enegesi explained. “This happens week in, week out, and our technology is powering all that automation.”

The platform offers additional features such as delivery time tracking and the opportunity to provide feedback to vendors on all aspects of the service delivery. On the backend, the app also aggregates data on customer preferences to offer improved suggestions based on previous service requests and experience.

“In the case of food for example, everything from menu curation to translating orders into the right procurement list to seeing the data of what customers are ordering — we have built all of those things that automate the workflow and make it easy to run a high-quality food operation,” he noted.

When it comes to payments, the platform has integrated with the main payment gateways in their two main markets, including the popular mobile money service M-Pesa, making it easier for its Kenyan customers to use their service.

Related: Upwork On Streamlining Cross-Border Gig Economy Payments

At the Forefront of Change

Overall, Enegesi acknowledged that retaining customer loyalty will depend on building trust. It’s the reason why the firm has set a high standard for itself, providing staff training and conducting background checks, while guaranteeing protection against incidents and unexpected events.

While that will contribute to driving growth, he was even more optimistic about the growth opportunities in the evolving Africa home services market as concierge services are increasingly deemed essential by African consumers, enabling the company to build on that growing demand to expand further in the region.

“We have cracked operational excellence and customer service. Now, [the goal is to] take this technology and make sure that we can scale across the content,” he noted.

Like other tech platforms, the fact the service is fully automated will attract customers that want to engage with an app that can easily track their preferences over time and offer a more personalized and improved service experience.

“These are the sorts of things that we’ve been enjoying in other parts of tech. They’re [now] coming into home services [and] it’s a great thing for us to be at the forefront of that change,” Enegesi said.

 

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