After SMS-based on-demand service Hey Kuya shut down its operations in November 2016, its founder, Machine Ventures CEO Shahab Shabibi looked for ways so the app’s purpose would live on.
The service, which allowed users to request for an errand to be accomplished for free, had more than 30,000 subscribers when it closed shop, enough for Shabibi to realize that there was demand for such an app.
Six months later, Machine Ventures launched a similar application called MyKuya, an on-demand service mobile app with 2,000 partners.
Like HeyKuya, the app allows users to outsource the manpower they need for various errands. It offers three options: AteNOW and KuyaNOW, which allows users to request either a female or male service provider; and KuyaMOTO, an on-demand delivery service accomplished by male motorcycle riders.
The MyKuya team
This time, however, users are charged P49 for every 30 minutes of service of a MyKuya partner. Since the app’s soft launch early this year, it has already gained 20,000 downloads both from iOS and Android users.
“Majority of the use-cases have been around food delivery from restaurants that don’t usually deliver, looking for items to purchase in stores and malls, cleaning and dishwashing, payment of bills and even pet-sitting or representing our customers to do tasks at government offices and agencies, like retrieving a confiscated driver’s license with authorization letter from LTO,” Shabibi said in an e-mail interview.
MyKuya has also attracted small businesses as clients for its enterprise solutions. According to Shabibi, at least 40 firms have tapped the help of the app to employ manpower they need for different tasks such as data encoding, manning booths at bazaars and packing, and even using the app to hire waiters and bartenders.
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Shabibi said partners get a minimum of 60 percent to a maximum of 80 percent of what the customers spend on the app, based on their performance and the incentives offered by MyKuya during a specific time. That means a MyKuya partner could potentially earn between P470 and P627 if he or she worked an eight-hour workday. In comparison, the minimum wage in Metro Manila stands at P512 per day.
Apart from wages roughly comparable to and even above the minimum wage, MyKuya partners also enjoy the flexibility and convenience to work at a time and place they want.
“We enable our partners to work on their own schedule and location to enable convenience at work. Our technology enables data-driven insights for our partners to maximize their earnings,” Shabibi said.
The app only requires aspiring partners to provide basic requirements such as government-issued IDs, National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) Clearance and Barangay Clearance to become part of the platform.
While the app is still in beta testing phase, it can now serve Metro Manila-based users, especially those based in Makati and Bonifacio Global City.
MyKuya’s offerings overlap with some of the services of Gawin.ph, an online marketplace that also connects users to specialized workers such as carpenters, plumbers, and painters, as well as general handymen. Malaysia-based startup Kaodim launched Gawin.ph in 2015. The company has a similar service in Singapore and Kuala Lumpur.
Elyssa Christine Lopez is a staff writer of Entrepreneur PH. Follow her on Twitter @elyssalopz