Lav Agarwal, CEO and co-founder, SmartClean TechnologiesA couple of years ago, SmartClean co-founders Lav Agarwal, Abhishek Mishra and Stella Aw realised the absence of technology adaptation in the cleaning industry. Thus, in 2017, this unique venture was conceptualised to enable data-driven cleaning operations for increased productivity, improved service quality, and transparency.
Headquartered in Singapore, it has expanded to Dubai, India, Indonesia and Malyasia thus far. “We provide a game-changing approach to facility cleaning, with real-time monitoring of the facilities via an array of sensors,” says Agarwal.
Using machine learning and AI technology, SmartClean evaluates and rates cleanliness, in order to alert cleaners of issues, so these can be resolved quickly and efficiently without delay. Cleaning managers benefit by the data collected as it provides them with helpful insights to plan day-to-do operations, enabling predictive cleaning.
The move from conventional ‘analogue’ property management to a digital approach implies a significant transformation, says Agarwal. The same is true for the cleaning industry which is slowly adapting to emerging needs and technologies. “We have designed multiple solutions catering to current and post-Covid commercial buildings,” he says. SmartClean is today the chosen partner of multinational IFM (Integrated Facilities Management) companies such as JLL and Sodexo as a portfolio offering and has a proven business case with JTC and multiple other facilities management and cleaning companies benefiting multiple stakeholders in the ecosystem.
In India, the cleaning industry is highly unstructured with no clear cleaning standards, says Agarwal. “More than 10 million people are involved in cleaning operations with a total market size of $10 billion.” To resolve this, it has introduced solutions which have eased the process of auditing the cleaning operations and are being extensively used to capture any cleaning issues and logs digitally. “Our solutions have proven to decrease workman hours by over 60%, giving room to reduce the workforce, to a positive return on investment (RoI),” he informs.
SmartClean has raised a pre-seed round with CapitaLand’s accelerator programme ‘AIRmaker’ in June 2017, followed by a seed round of S$950,000 in Jan 2018. This year, the company raised Pre-A round of S$3.7 million. Currently, it is open for a Series A round on $10 million and a smaller pre-Series A round before that.
SmartClean is already making a strong impact across Singapore, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, and Dubai and is all set to expand its business across APAC and Australia by bringing about a complete digital revolution and disrupt the face of the cleaning industry with its data-driven solutions. It is looking at launching a SaaS platform Matrix that will allow it to become a one-stop cleaning management platform for commercial real estate (CRE) properties. “Next in the pipeline is a range of sensing solutions to cover property-wide cleanliness monitoring.
A ‘lite’ version of these sensors will follow which would cost a fraction of the current cost and would cater to low labour cost markets to achieve an easier RoI for the customers,” says Agarwal.
In the end, SmartClean aims to bring a gradual change by attracting younger and technically qualified workers into the industry, while also creating solutions that will ensure a greener tomorrow.
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