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Home-service platform Ayibang outsources to keep its edge online

Wan Yong, the CEO of Ayibang

The CEO of Beijing-based home-service platform Ayibang told AllChinaTech on Wednesday that they are expanding services by engaging partners in other cities and outsourcing services to specialized professionals.

“This year we will focus on expanding our services in two major directions: one is to engage partners in cities yet to be covered so that Ayibang will serve more cities, and the other is to outsource services to other professionals so that we can better grow together,” said Wan Yong, the CEO of Ayibang.

Wan disclosed that Ayibang, which currently covers 13 first and second tier cities, will recruit partners in other cities this May. He explained that their goal is to cover 100 cities this year, and 300 in three years, including third-tier cities. Aiyibang will select partners by looking at their business models, resources, and experience. Once partnerships have been established, the two will expand potential markets and improve the overall quality of Ayibang’s services.

Founded in 2013, Ayibang is a home-service platform that recruits and trains its own cleaners and profits from value-added services only. Its main focus has always been home cleaning. Ayibang maintains its edge in the online market by outsourcing in-demand services to others. Last October, it secured tens of thousands of dollars in Series B financing, while its registered users and orders per day grew tenfold from 2014 to 2015.

According to customers, they have many needs beyond basic house-cleaning, and this is when outsourcing services comes into play. When specialized services such as babysitting, house moving, and unclogging pipes are fulfilled by other professionals, customers can be provided with a high standard without Ayibang developing those services from scratch on its own. For example, by cooperating with Guanjiabang, a caregiver platform, Ayibang can offer high-quality nursery services as well. Ayibang will initiate its third round of service upgrades in late March, with outsourcing services as the focus.

Ayibang claims that it differs from competitors by building strong connections with customers and team members. To make sure that their Ayi, colloquial Chinese for female home cleaners, are happy, Ayibang has built a community called Xiao’azhijia, or “Home for Ayis”, which offers support and conselling when cleaners have trouble at work. Ayibang also organizes workshops for hobbies like latte art and baking to bond with customers. Satisfied customers will naturally advertise for the company by spreading the word to their friends, said Wan.

The O2O home-service industry is growing vigorously. According to the China E-business Research Center, China today has over 20 categories of home services offering over 200 kinds of services, with an annual turnover of RMB 160 billion (USD 24.5 billion). Up until last November, among the home service applications on Android, Lanrenjiazheng had the most hits, followed by Ayibang and 1jiajie.

Tencent Tech predicts that competition in this field will heat up. Start-up entrepreneurs might face a greater challenge once the big companies have entered the field, and for all service providers, diversified competition is the rule of thumb. Nevertheless, as Wan said, there is still a world of markets to conquer.

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