INTERVIEW | Michael Mercieca: GO Ventures is prime investor in is an on-demand app that connects workers to customers requiring specific services at the click of a button. “It is a great tool, both for those seeking a specific service, as well as for those offering it. The steady growth of engagement that the app has been enjoying has attracted GO Ventures as a prime investor in this platform,” says Gigify co-founder MICHAEL MERCIECA


What inspired the idea behind Gigify?

Gigify was born out of a want to connect workers who have a service to offer, with people who need to get tasks done. Most tasks are mainly home-based, such as cleaning, organising, DIY, gardening, childminding and so on, but the opportunities to extend this concept are limitless. The idea is simple – it is to bring added value to whoever uses it, whether it is a Gig worker, or an individual requiring the job or task. Gig workers are offered a platform where to launch, showcase and promote their services, a calendar that helps them manage their bookings, a communication system to correspond with clients and a fully integrated payment system. On the other hand, the on-demand app, which is available both on Android and IOS, provides customers with a database of independently reviewed, trusted, and vetted gig workers who can be booked to carry out home tasks at the click of a button.

When did the app start operating and what is the take-up looking like?

The app started operating in September last year and since then we have signed up over 5,300 customers and almost 2,850 gig workers. To date, around 650 gigs across 54 services have been conducted, the most popular of which have been home cleaning and handyman services.

Every venture comes with its own challenges. What are your challenges here?

Culturally, it takes time for us to adapt to different ways of carrying out business, even if it’s a common daily transaction so I would say this is our biggest challenge. Another challenge is converting the 5,300 customers into paying customers who regularly book gigs. We also have a rather rigorous vetting and recruitment process, so getting the 2,850 gig workers live on the App in as short a time as possible can also be quite a challenge. So far, we have completely vetted 200 gig workers, who are now active on the app. We are now in the process of formalising our vetting, onboarding process, and allocating more resources to it.

This is important because we want to ensure high standard of service for our customers. We are positive that this can really bring customer value because ultimately, we have seen the same business model work very well in other similar markets and believe it can be a success in Malta too.

How are you planning to grow this project? What is its scalability?

The platform’s maximum scalability will be reached when every household in Malta will be using it a number of times a year. Growth will happen organically through regular marketing drives and sharing of positive experiences, which would lead to more people using the platform to book more services. We are already encouraged by the fact that to date, we have repeat users who have used the app more than twenty times.

Gigification reflects today’s generation’s want for a more sustainable work-life balance. Is the local market for this concept of work? Is it just a matter of changing one’s attitude?

Culture does have a part to play. Many people are already accustomed to their own way of doing things, despite more efficient solutions available to them. So, first they need to learn about these solutions, observe others using them, then start to trust them. At the moment we are targeting early adopters and our rebooking rate of 40%-50% is promising. This concept offers a directory of service providers, the facility to book them depending on availability, communicate with them, pay them after the job is done and pass on feedback.

The intention is to make people’s lives easier and at the same time, to provide the right platform for people who want to work especially self-employed people for whom the app provides all the necessary tools to reach customers, at a minimal fee, which is essentially a small commission on earnings. The challenge here is not a shortage in gig workers, but in the resources required to process the high volume.

Why did you seek GO Ventures’ investment?

While raising capital is very important, the background, experience and expertise of the investors behind your venture is equally important. In fact, our first investors are SG Solutions, which as a right history in the hardware and technology industry. Similarly GO Ventures has very successful history in the technology and communications sectors and has access to a large consumer base. The synergies, and potential value added for both parties were clear from the start.  In fact, we have already taken advantage of this, and we have collaborated in a number of workshops with different teams within GO. GO Ventures experience and insight has already proven very valuable to our journey so far.

GO Ventures’ perspective - Paul Grech

What made GO Ventures decide to invest in Gigify?

The gig economy is taking off everywhere around the world. Gig workers are looking to monetise their time and skills by offering services like home services, IT support, cooking, entertainment.  We estimate that there are around 35,000 potential gig workers in Malta and there was not an established online marketplace in Malta that connects these gig workers to customers in a transparent, efficient and trustworthy manner.  Gigify will do just that, allowing those who are interested in providing these services to do so in an easy manner, whilst for the users they can find whatever help they need in an easy, digital manner.

For us, this not only provided a strategic opportunity to tap into a new revenue line, but it is perfectly aligned to our purpose of driving a digital Malta where no one is left behind.

How does Gigify fit into GO Ventures’ growing portfolio of investments?

Gigify fits in very well in our portfolio as it leverages technology to provide a solution to a societal challenge that has otherwise been overlooked.  As with all of our investment, we also feel that we can help grow this business by being a strategic partner that provides access to our networks and support infrastructure.

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