Malaysia, 29 March 2022- The Swifty app, created by two self-taught entrepreneurs, aims to help Malaysian freelancers earn extra income.Ever since COVID19 impacted most Malaysians with an approximately 5.3% unemployment rate in 2020.
Earning additional incomes to many people is no longer a nice to have/want to but they NEED to earn an extra income just to survive. However, certain gig platforms have either a lengthy onboarding process or just do not offer services that these people are good at. In the end, most people are transitioning to becoming food delivery riders for quick cash as there aren’t many other options for them out there.
Knowing this pain and wanting to support more local freelancers and micro SMEs survive this hard time, Alfina Nur Bashir and Emad Nurdin Morshidi started Swifty, a homegrown app marketplace for anyone in Malaysia who wants to sell their skills doing what they love even if it’s a newly learnt skill from YouTube. One can offer services ranging from home improvements, designers, personal shoppers, to even being a tour guide for those who love to travel. Launched last year in early August, Swifty has received huge support from the communities with over 15,000+ app downloads and over 2000+ local services currently available.
Although the two originally did not have experience in coding and computer science, they used YouTube and Udemy as their guide to build the app.
Despite having to put their lives on hold and endure many sleepless nights, finishing the app made it all worthwhile when it received an overwhelming response from the public after Alfina tweeted about it.
What is Swifty all about?
“Our app is a marketplace where you can find all types of local services. Our app resembles the Shopee platform, but instead of selling products, we offer around 100 categories of services.
“This app was created exclusively for Malaysians and it provides a platform for freelancers to do what they love, and they are able to upload their services in less than five minutes.
“We have two facets, Swifty Pro is for those who want to offer their services whereas Swifty was created specifically for those who want to engage services.
“We do not charge any sign-up fees or monthly subscriptions. Instead, we only charge 5% to 20% on fixed fees, and only if they have received orders.”
What challenges did you face when creating the app?
“Since we built this app from scratch, we took around four months to learn how to do coding everyday for 12 hours. After that, we launched Swifty Pro and Swifty on July 23 and Sept 7, respectively.
“We initially only had two people on our team, just me and my co-founder, so the amount of work was overwhelming since we didn’t have enough manpower. But we are relieved after receiving our pre-seed investment, we are able to at least expand our team into 4 more members”. We’re all currently working from home for the rest of 2022 to keep each other safe.
What are the unique features of Swifty?
“We are one of the few [companies] in Malaysia to build a platform where you can view and select freelancers whom you want to work with.
“Another unique feature is you can chat with the freelancer if you have any requirements, or even call them for free through our app. You are also able to see their portfolio, [past] reviews and location.
“We have unique services as well, such as life coach, birthday wishes and finding portraits. We give our freelancers the freedom to be as creative as they want.”
Are there any safety measures to protect users from scammers?
“Every user will need to upload an image of their MyKad before proceeding. We also do not expose the user’s phone number. But you are still able to call and text for free through this app without your number being revealed.”
What are your end goals for this app?
“For now, we are focusing on getting more partners; some of the existing partners that we have collaborated with are Socar, Happy Fresh, Hermo and KakiDIY.
“We aim for Swifty to be a local community for freelancers through rewards and we want to upskill our freelancers through workshops and programmes.