Written by Stefan Kostarelis
HappyCo was founded in Adelaide in 2011 by Jindou Lee and Andrew Mackenzie Ross.
At that time, the company was called “Happy Inspector” and it was created to address the lack of standardized documentation in property inspections.
In early 2012, the company released the iOS version of its product and moved to Silicon Valley to participate in a “500 Startups incubation” program.
By the end of 2014, Happy Inspector had raised enough capital to begin hiring people and open its first office in Adelaide. Since then, the company has changed its name to “HappyCo” in order to reflect the multiple enterprise applications nature of its platform.
Today, HappyCo employs 40 people (10 in Adelaide and 30 in San Francisco) and its platform is used across a broad range of industries including residential and commercial real estate, hospitality and airports.
One example of a company that HappyCo has helped is Equity Residential, one of the largest apartment owners and managers in the U.S.
According to an in-house case study, HappyCo transformed Equity Residential’s move-out inspection process resulting in a 9% increase in damage chargebacks equivalent to $850,000 in cost recovery.
In addition, HappyCo was able to reduce labor by 30-60 minutes per inspection with some properties reported up to 50% fewer disputes at move out.
In order to find out more about HappyCo, we reached out to founder and CEO Jindou Lee via email.
*SA Real Estate News questions in bold*
- Please briefly explain who HappyCo is and what you do.
HappyCo builds mobile applications for enterprise workforce operations. Our software is used by thousands of companies across the world to digitize their in-field inspection workflow.
- How can you specifically help real estate agents?
Our software allows them to use mobile software to perform inspections for their ingoing/outgoing inspections. It helps them to document those inspections with digitally with photos and all the necessary information.
- What led you to start HappyCo?
It was a problem I personally faced as a landlord and tenant. I realised that paper based inspections were inefficient and inaccurate. So, I decided to build some software to help change the way the process was performed. It turns out, lots of companies in different industries across the world face a similar challenge.
- Are you able to tell us about some of your Australian clients?
Sure, we have a wide range of customers including Westfield, Vicinity Centers, Jetts Fitness and also, real estate agencies such as Harcourts, Raine and Horne, Ray White, Century 21 and many other boutique agencies.
- Why did you choose to open an office in Adelaide?
Both our founders are from Adelaide and we believe that there is a lot of talented people either graduating from the local universities or people that have the experience but not the right environment to excel in the local market. We can provide them with a great place to work, selling to a global market.
- As HappyCo expands, what kind of people are you looking to hire?
We will look for people that are hungry, passionate, hardworking and smart. This will cover all types of roles from software engineering, design, marketing, sales, support and account management.
- Where do you see HappyCo in five years?
HappyCo will be a Top 50 SA company and a Top 10 employer of choice. It’s important to me because I believe in building not only a company with great revenues, serving a large range of customers but equally as important is to build a company where our employees actually love coming to work. (And hopefully no Mondayitis!)
- What challenges does HappyCo face?
We face problems every single day that any other fast growing company faces. Typically, they are around scaling the company to cater for our growing customer base. We have a high bar to deliver the best customer experience.
- What is your opinion of the current state of Adelaide’s real estate industry?
Adelaide’s market has always been slower than the other markets. I think it will continue to be slower especially if the South Australian economy does not have growth.