We recently spoke with Edward Relf, Co-Founder and CEO of Laundrapp. The following is Laundrapp’s story, in Edward’s own words. Enjoy:
With over 15 years of experience in the digital space, Laundrapp is my fourth start-up. Like all great ideas, my business associates and I came up with the concept of Laundrapp over cod and chips, literally! The dry cleaning industry reached its peak in the 1980s and then plateaued, so we knew that there was an opportunity to bring smart technology to the laundry industry. In a similar way that Uber disrupted transport and Airbnb disrupted hotels, we knew with the right proposition, there was a huge opportunity to disrupt the space and bring a technological revolution to the world of washing machines.
After plenty of research and insight, we spent time developing the perfect on-demand business model that we now use. Finally, in 2015, we launched Laundrapp – a platform to give people the power to do their washing-on-the-go by simply outsourcing their laundry or dry cleaning from their smartphone, effectively turning their smartphone into a portable washing machine.
We initially sought seed funding to establish the business and raised this via early stage angel investment. As the business successfully took off, the first version of Laundrapp received enough traction to allow us to raise more substantial capital to scale. To date, the business has raised over £11million due to the exponential growth we’ve experienced in the UK and international markets.
I’ve faced several obstacles on my journey to building Laundrapp including hiring the right people, creating a culture of innovation and having the right logistics in place. As an entrepreneur, one of the most important decisions that you will make are the people that you hire. It’s important to employ the right person for the role, rather than the first person you find as a bigger team doesn’t necessarily create efficiency. However, overall the biggest challenge has been building trust and changing consumer habits.
We’re one of the UK’s fastest growing on-demand tech business. At the moment, the service is available in over 100 towns and cities in the UK, and the app has been downloaded over 250,000 million times since launch.
By licensing our ‘Powered by Laundrapp’ platform to major entrepreneurs and laundry franchises in other countries we’re able to scale extremely quickly internationally. Today, Laundrapp is now live across Australia, New Zealand, Brazil and Dubai – with the aim to be live in 15 international markets in the next 24 months. There’s a lot of laundry still to be done, and our goal is to ultimately taking the washing machine to war in every major market globally.