Adelaide base helping HappyCo expand into Asia by Caleb Radford

AN AUSTRALIAN software company that moved to Silicon Valley in 2014 before making it big in the United States is expanding into Asia.

Modern interior design room

HappyCo, which develops software to help clients manage property inspections, has opened an office in its hometown of Adelaide, South Australia, after finding success in California.

While the United States remains a key market, the company is using its new Australian base to increase its focus on Asia.

HappyCo’s suite of products uses cloud-based digital inspections and analytical software to deliver data in real-time and remove the need for hard-copy documents.

They are used by a number of different industries including real-estate firms, restaurants, hotels, fitness centres and airports.

Co-founder and CEO Jindou Lee said its mobile apps collated information up to 70 per cent faster than traditional manual methods.

He said although the company was already in 140 countries and had primarily targeted Western markets such as the United States, United Kingdom, Canada and Australia, potential for its products had recently emerged in Japan and other parts of Asia.

“It’s really weird but a lot of the world’s biggest companies are still using paper, which takes about four to six weeks to get back to the head office,” Lee said.

“The market we are going after in North America alone is a US$30bn market and once you start looking at Asia and Australia, we have barely scratched the surface of it.”

young businesswoman using tablet computer

Lee said time zones that were compatible with Asia and a deep talent pool of software engineers from South Australian universities made Adelaide an ideal choice for a southern hemisphere base.

“We wanted to be able to cover as much of the world as possible in terms of support and we thought it would make sense to keep our roots in Adelaide,” he said.

HappyCo’s premier program, Happy Inspector, allows managers from big corporations with multiple stores to keep operations running smoothly by documenting field operations.

Another program in the suite Happy Manage, then uses simple compliance checklists to monitor health and safety regulations and workplace productivity, which are then sent through to a client’s head office.

If a store was unclean, had broken equipment or machines, or was not operating efficiently, inspectors could take photos and fill out digital forms to document any deficiencies.

All checklists and templates are customisable and the program lists reports from all inspections the moment they are entered into Happy Inspector.

Happy BI (Business Intelligence) is the final app in the suite and delivers real-time analysis of operation performance metrics across an enterprise.

Businessman using a desktop computer

It helps users track their KPIs with graphs and dashboards for totals and averages.

HappyCo has more than 1000 clients including Equity Residential, Fox and Hound Sports Tavern, Jetts 24-hour Fitness and fast-food chains such as Domino’s Pizza.

It has delivered more than 1.5 million inspections and captured more than 25 million photos since its launch in the United States in 2012.

“The apps aren’t just doing checklists and ongoing management, they are able to lower insurance premiums as well,” Lee said.

“Liability is a huge issue and depending on the industry, like the property management space, a customer could save 10 per cent of their damage recovery – 10 per cent over 100,000 units is worth millions of dollars and a potential lawsuit.”

HappyCo’s suite of apps are available on iOS and Android and its subscription fees vary based on client size.

Photos: Jacek Kadaj

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