Funding Success: Gold Coast cleaning company Spruces, founded less than a year ago, has raised $2 million to enhance its AI-driven technology for worker monitoring.
AI Solution for Productivity Crisis: Entrepreneurs Leo Plaza and Broden Johnson developed AI technology to address the skills shortage in the cleaning industry, aiming to boost productivity and recognition for high-quality work.
On-Body Camera Vision: Spruces employs on-body camera vision, similar to Tesla’s technology, to monitor cleaners’ activities. Plaza emphasizes the technology’s role in giving workers peace of mind, avoiding misplaced blame, and encouraging quality work.
Recognition and Rewards: The AI system measures productivity in terms of both speed and quality, allowing for fair recognition and potentially higher pay for productive cleaners. Plaza notes the system incentivizes good work that might otherwise go unnoticed.
Fulfilling Market Gaps: Spruces initially sought to raise $500,000 but secured $2 million, including support from investors like Gold Coast-based FuseLabs. The funding is intended for local development of the app and AI technology.
Local Development Focus: Plaza expresses excitement about keeping development local on the Gold Coast, diverging from the trend of outsourcing app development to other countries.
Investor Perspectives: Stuart Bond, co-founder of Fuse Labs, is drawn to Spruces for its innovative approach to revolutionizing commercial cleaning through computer vision and language models.
Two-Pronged Service Model: Spruces offers on-demand commercial cleaning services, allowing clients to book and pay for a cleaner within 24 hours. The second aspect involves worker monitoring technology to enhance productivity and support for workers.
Accidental Market Expansion: While initially focused on southeast Queensland, Spruces is unexpectedly receiving requests from remote locations in NSW and Victoria, filling gaps that large cleaning companies cannot address.
Potential Impact: Plaza suggests that the worker monitoring technology could make staff “100 times more” attracted to Spruces, providing a new level of support, safety, and performance showcasing, potentially increasing productivity by up to four times.