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|Founders||Marcus Lim, Adam Dong|
|Area served||Australia, United Kingdom|
Oneflare is an Australian-based local service marketplace for home services, that allows consumers and service providers to find each other and then negotiate jobs online. Launched in January 2011 as PickAQuote.com.au, and backed by Commercialisation Australia, to date it has over 55,000 registered businesses, and has brokered over A$60m worth of business.
Developed by co-founders Marcus Lim and Adam Dong, inspired by the SEEK online model, the vision was to eventually replace Yellow Pages and the traditional online business directory model. The interactive service was created to improve efficiency in hiring local service providers, with a transparent feedback system encouraging customers to leave online reviews and ratings.
Launched in January 2011 as PickAQuote.com.au, the system uses natural language processing to match every request to the right service provider. In June 2011 the company launched an iPhone mobile application that allows users to measure physical objects with their iPhone, and then attach it as part of their job request.
After gaining an A$50,000 Skills and Knowledge grant from Commercialisation Australia to engage professional external advisors to raise investment capital, develop website architecture and procure professional legal advice, the company subsequently raised A$500,000 from external investors Grand Prix Capital, the Sydney Seed Fund and The Strategy Group. The venture-backed startup has raised a total of A$1.5 million to date.The company was nominated for the 2013 Australian mobile awards.
The startup acquired Renovate Forum in July 2014, Australia's largest online renovation community. The acquisition extends Oneflare's business model by connecting 40,000 forum members to Oneflare's marketplace of local trade professionals.
Both consumers and commercial service providers register on the main website. As part of the guarantee system, providers licensing, professional registration and insurance/indemnity are checked.
Consumers can register for free a job/project, which is then sent to a number of the pre-approved contractors who service that location. In addition to trades such as electricians, landscapers and roofers, the site lists 200 service categories, including accountants, interior designers, cleaners, computer repairers and photographers. Via the mobile applications, users can measure physical objects with their smart phone, and then attach it as part of their job request. Real-time SMS and email updates are sent to customers and businesses alike. The company then automatically sifts the quotations, and provides the consumer with the five lowest priced quotations, their verification status and past customer reviews. The consumer then chooses their preferred provider, who is contracted directly through the website to complete the work.
Utilising technology to deliver superior customer service, should the provider not complete the work, or complete the work unsatisfactorily, then the company provides both a helpdesk and a guarantee, which will payout up to A$500 to the consumer.
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