Gilcrux Holdings’ home improvement portfolio company Kluje.com launches
By Digital News Asia November 14, 2013
- Find suitable contractors, compare quotes and assess customer reviews before embarking on project
- Free for homeowners; basic monthly fee of S$19.99 for contractors; free 30-day trial as part of launch
KLUJE.COM, a portfolio company under Gilcrux Holdings, launched today (Nov 14), looking to provide an online platform to match all home improvement projects with the right contractor.
Kluje, pronounced ‘KLOO-je,’ was launched to find suitable contractors, compare quotes and assess customer reviews before embarking on the project.
The site was founded to help provide homeowners with a peace of mind in finding reliable contractors for major home improvement projects, routine maintenance or just a few odd jobs around the house, the company said in a statement.
Singapore-based Gilcrux Holdings is South African serial entrepreneur John Fearon’s investment holding company, and holds Fearon’s equity in startups like Dropmysite, ApexPeak and EatAds.
A spokesman declined to tell Digital News Asia (DNA) how much Gilcrux has invested in Kluje.com and for what stake, only to say that it is an equity shareholder.
“Finding a reliable and professional contractor is a lot hard work, there is a large variation in the quality of the contractors,” said Kluje chief executive officer Jamey Merkel.
“Last year, I embarked on a small renovation project at my home that saw many hours of searching, un-replied emails, unanswered phone calls, unrealistic quotations, and a whole lot of heartache that, in my opinion was (and is) completely unnecessary. Kluje.com will change all that,” he claimed.
Kluje has a simple three-step process:
- First, homeowners post their ‘jobs to be done’ on the website for free;
- Second, quality contractors, that have been vetted by Kluje with the relevant authorities will then get to view these jobs, and up to three of them can bid on these jobs; and
- Third, the homeowner can select the best one. To determine which contractor is best besides just the price, homeowners can look through their portfolios on their profile pages.
These pages will contain the contractors’ qualifications, photos of previous work, and ratings (in terms of value, reliability and quality) given to them by previous Kluje users.
By rating contractors, Kluje said it is providing an essential service to the homeowner and beyond. In the long run, the contractors profile page ratings can become an industry standard that the larger community can rely on.
With over 9,000 registered and an estimated 4,000 unregistered contractors, Kluje will filter out the quality contractors, allowing them to build their online reputation and win even more work, the company claimed.
With approximately 1.12 million households in Singapore, home maintenance is a billion-dollar and growing industry. Kluje plans to take on the local market with plans to take on the region, it said.
Kluje Pte Ltd itself was established in October, 2012, and now has a staff of 10 and is looking to expand, according to the Gilcrux spokesman. Merkel is the principle founder but he has a team of advisors.
The Gilcrux spokesman declined to say what revenue or user-acquisition targets Kluje has set for itself, and when asked if it plans to roll out to other countries, said: “We are looking to expand, however we are focused on our primary market of Singapore.”
For homeowners, the site is free to use. For contractors, there is a basic monthly membership fee of S$19.99. The contractors will also pay a lead cost (starting from S$1), which is determined by the size of the homeowner’s budget.
[S$1 = US$0.80]
As part of the launch, contractors can join the site for a free 30-day trial period with S$50 free job credits to bid on projects.
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