Pioneers in domestic trades
Last year, UK households posted more than one million domestic trade jobs worth around £2bn on the Rated People platform. This year, they expect this to increase to £3bn. “We are the biggest tech and service company in the country that specialises in home maintenance, building and repairs – and the only one that has tech at the heart of their business in the UK,” says CEO Celia Francis.
The company has built a sizeable marketplace, with over 22,000 active UK tradespeople registered with the site. But the biggest challenge is ensuring quality control at scale. That’s why they’ve invested in a proprietary screening solution that took 18 months to build.
Using tech to predict quality
“When tradespeople apply to offer quotes on our marketplace,” says Francis, “we are in the background doing our checks.” Tradespeople welcome such screening and are assured that they’re in good company quoting for work, says Francis. Some 25% of tradespeople who apply to join the platform are turned away, she adds.
Rated People conducts identity and credit checks, references solvency records and uses fingerprinting technologies. The company also integrates supplementary data from official accreditation databases, its own resource of over 750,000 ratings and reviews, and 10-plus years of historical data. This approach raises red flags and informs the company’s decision whether to allow a tradesperson to join their platform, Francis explains.
More efficient than offline directory-based searches, explains Francis, their online solution offers busy homeowners flexibility to go about their lives. Homeowners can sort through tradespeople’s profiles, including ratings and reviews, to decide who they want to work with.
Using data to make marketplace matches
Rated People combines its marketplace data with machine learning to better match homeowners’ projects to the tradespeople who are best placed to do the work. “It helps tradespeople be more efficient with their time,” says Francis.
We find them the work that they specialise in, within an easy driving distance. It’s where both our scale and technical knowledge become a strong competitive advantage.
Celia Francis, Rated People
The company typically matches a homeowner to a tradesperson in any of 30 categories within two minutes to two hours from the time the job’s been posted on their app or website.
People who need people
Regardless of the steady rate of 30% gross merchandise volume (GMV) growth, Rated People takes the time needed to make the right hires. And at around 130 people, the size of the team gives people a lot of career opportunities. “They’ve been in many different roles – they move up, they move sideways,” Francis says.
On the topic of helping people, Francis also believes in entrepreneurs supporting each other to scale and grow their businesses. She spends time nurturing the UK tech ecosystem through her involvement in various senior digital leadership groups, such as H2.
Francis is ready to help without the expectation of immediately receiving something in return. As she says: “It’s that outlook that makes London such a great place to grow a successful tech scale-up business.”