Butlers aren’t only for the rich and famous. At least that’s what new startup Alfred is hoping you’ll believe. The startup, named after Batman’s—we mean Bruce Wayne’s— sagely British butler, will make access to this type of service affordable for consumers at large.
Here’s how it works: Alfred will charge you $99 a month, in exchange for a weekly visit from your own “Alfred”, who will tidy up your home, sort through your mail, and fold your laundry, as well as many other concierge services. Co-founder Marcela Sapone says that Alfred is meant to give people a “25th hour in your day.”
“It’s a really good service for parents who work and are juggling families, for young professionals putting in a lot of hours, or entrepreneurs who are busy trying to launch what they’re passionate about,” Sapone said.
Alfred business model and concept have been well received thus far. The service was rewarded $50,000 at the 2014 TechCrunch Disrupt competition in San Francisco. They also announced another $2 million of funding from Spark Capital, a venture capital firm that invests in creative startups and has proudly supported Twitter, Tumblr, Warby Parker, and Oculus.
Trust is an important part of the business. Customers have to trust their Alfreds with intimate details of their daily lives. Therefore, Alfred has a brutal application process. Applicants must undergo “very rigorous” background checks as well as “five different layers of interviews,” according to Sapone.
While other startups like Uber and Handy have made headlines for treating their workers poorly, Alfred positions look rather attractive. The starting wage is $18/hour, with benefits provided for those working 30+ hours/week. Alfred launched Tuesday, November 18th in Boston and New York City. If the business is successful, they may expand into other areas.
What do you think about Alfred? Would you sign up for their service?