The name's Bong - Agent Bong

Agent Bong - bong means help in Cantonese - was released in Hong Kong in April last year, and began operations in Singapore early this year. The platform is an app available on both iOS and Android app stores.

Besides cleaning, Agent Bong can be used to find workers for elderly care, cooking and baby-sitting.

Customers can either select Quick Match, which pairs them automatically with a helper, or Choose Yourself, where they can select their own helper from a list of profiles.

Mr Sam Ng, co-founder of Agent Bong, said that they chose to expand to Singapore as it is a similar market to Hong Kong.

"Both cities are very reliant on live-in maids, but it's getting more difficult to hire them because countries such as Indonesia and the Philippines are more reluctant to export cheap labour," he explained.

"Hong Kong and Singapore are also similar in that they have high credit-card and smartphone penetration, and people in both cities are used to using apps to get what they need online."

Mr Ng added that Agent Bong is focusing on introducing certification for its trainers, by working with partner training agencies for services such as childcare and elderly care.

Lisabel Ting

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 27, 2016, with the headline 'The name's Bong - Agent Bong'. Subscribe