Hotel-grade Turnovers for Airbnb. Homeaway. VRBO. FlipKey.
Neu, Inc. automates hotel-style cleans for Airbnb’s. As a SaaS-enabled marketplace, Neu provides busy property hosts and licensed, bonded cleaners with a hassle-free experience by supplying sheets, towels, and toiletries and coordinating service transactions between guest stays.
Neu serves as a dual marketplace for both host customers and cleaning service contractors, each in want of more business and revenue. Neu’s operations team makes sure that turnover happens promptly, with fresh linens and supplies brought by vetted cleaners to streamline the process of preparing a unit for a new guest by the next scheduled check-in time.
“We’re excited to impact the lives and businesses of our customers through our product and we’re often taken back by how far we’ve come and with (extremely) limited resources.” ~Kwame, Rilwan, Claudius
Being First Customers.
Neu’s CEO Kwame Boler and COO Rilwan Lawal know first hand the headaches and costs of cleaning and flipping Airbnb vacation rentals for new guests.
As Airbnb Super hosts with full-time jobs, the biggest headache Kwame and Rilwan experienced was getting their properties promptly cleaned and reset between guest visits– without breaking their margins.
What started as an idea to solve their individual challenge as hosts quickly morphed into the bigger idea for the startup that became Neu.
Fifteen minutes after discussing how they might pool resources to organize some professional cleaners for their apartments, Kwame called Rilwan back and suggested they solve this problem for everyone in the same situation.
“That’s kind of how everything started and we began the long journey of trying to create a system to clean our properties.” ~Rilwan Lawal
Neu’s third co-founder, CTO Claudius Mbemba joined the team after being highly recommended through the founders’ extended professional networks.
The camaraderie, respect, and gratitude the founders have for each other and their areas of focus and expertise are audible as they share their stories. Good chemistry, a shared vision and a sense of humor, and shared intentions for creating a company culture that supports a global team make them a solid founding leadership trio.
Entrepreneurs in the Making: From Furniture to Chocolate to Coupon Books.
All of Neu’s three founders have early entrepreneurial experiences–thanks to how their parents modeled entrepreneurship, creativity, and persistence.
- Rilwan attributes his drive to be an entrepreneur to his mother, “The Ultimate Entrepreneur” who designed chairs and furniture that she exported to Nigeria where friends and family lived, and Rilwan was given every opportunity to contribute and learn.
- Kwame’s entrepreneurial way of thinking was established in youth watching his father create opportunities and monetize memorable moments with something tangible (be it magnets, or air fresheners, or logoed items), and he recalled funding the purchase of his first computer by selling a lot of chocolate bars.
- Claudius roped his siblings into a coupon book venture he produced in middle school after the annual school fundraising event. This developed his entrepreneurial passion – Neu is his third startup adventure since college.
Notable Neu Interview Highlights.
Neu began its startup journey in August of 2016 and has coordinated thousands of transactions between hosts and cleaners.
- Neu’s secret sauce is the backpacks they supply to contracted cleaners, filled with replacement linens, towels, and toiletries for the host homes which removes the need to launder onsite. Therefore, getting properties ready for new guests happens that much quicker. (2:04)
- Neu is presently focused on creating the technical infrastructure to scale the marketplace platform for future customers. Improving internal/external process flows, gathering customer feedback, repairing holes to scale aggressively and building a platform w/ a lean, agile dev team. (12:28)
- Neu’s persistent fundraising efforts through accelerators has been a learning journey. (28:40)
- Neu’s growing team, half of which is overseas and spans three time zones means more resources positively impacting company growth and development. (35:45)
- Neu’s list of advisors, formal and otherwise is aplenty and indicative of their progress and potential. (41:33)
- Neu’s advice to themselves and aspiring entrepreneurs. (43:55)
- Kwame’s Recommended Reading: The Culture Code by Daniel Coyle
What are Neu’s co-founders most pleased/proud of so far?
Rilwan: Just how far we’ve come, from a simple idea and $3000 (and not knowing anything about this industry) to building a full-fledged business with 10 team members. Building an Engineering team in Nigeria!
Claudius: Growing the business from out of a garage to moving into an office space downtown!
Kwame: Overall, seeing our hard work pay off and in one instance, winning $50k through the ScaleUp!
Check out Neu’s most recent pitches!
Geek Wire Elevator Pitch Ep. 1 – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PTczFJitgY4
Y-Combinator – https://youtu.be/jE43HmhqDXM
Seattle Angel Conference XII 2017- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HUo5FVJMK0Y
“We have a pretty good idea of when we’d feel confident to transcend Seattle.” ~Kwame Boler