Residents of Cape Town were treated to sights of a robot dog walking through the CBD as Dwyka Mining Services showcased Boston Dynamic’s Spot….
If you’re not keen to slouch through the rain with a few kilograms of dirty socks, shirts, shorts and underwear once a week, maybe you’ll enjoy what Washr has to offer.
Washr was started by a group of guys with a lot of experience in the world of startups and doing business. Both CTO Flavio Bezzeccheri and CMO Alvaro Burgos worked at the massive German incubator Rocket Internet, while David Shleifman has a background in marketing and now works as Washr’s head of operations.
Their idea is rather simple; it’s like Uber for laundry. The Cape Town based startup charges customers with a premium price to have their laundry picked up and delivered back to them within 24 hours… ‘cause, ain’t nobody got time for that.
It’s a service that’s been tried and tested with the likes of Flycleaners, Prim Laundry and Washio having established themselves as experts in their fields in the US. They are also the startups Washr found as inspiration to implement a similar service in Cape Town, with a Johannesburg outlet to follow soon.
The company notes its local competitors are traditional offline laundromats the high proportion of domestic workers in South Africa. And while there are no local competitors yet, it says there are of course plenty of copycats the world over.
Washr launched in November 2013 and has since managed to stay lean, clean and “almost profitable”. All of the company’s employees are background checked to ensure a safe and sound wash for your smelly garbs.
After registering for the service, you can go to the site, punch in a date and time, and wait for Washr’s crew of merry men to collect your laundry and return it to you the next day. You’ll even get a free cookie upon delivery (apparently).
The cost of having a kilogram of your dirty socks picked up, washed, and delivered back to you is R24. Getting your shirts and skirts dry cleaned will cost you R89 per item.
Washr really prides itself on its customer service and establishing strong relationships with clients. “What really makes us different, however, is not our website or the cookie we always give to our customers,” Bezzeccheri explains. “It’s the human relationship that we build and grow with our customers that make us different.”
Bezzeccheri is confident that his team’s experience will make business shine as much as Washr will your clothes. Thanks to the powerful mix of the three co-founders skills (and a dash of soap) the startup’s able to offer its customers a world-class web app as well as triple-A quality service.
The site’s built using Ruby on Rails with a responsive design so that it’ll work as fine as it does on a PC as it does on an iPhone or BlackBerry.
“While we won’t stop famine in the world, we will help lot of busy people to save time and stop caring about their laundry,” Bezzeccheri reassures us. The startup is bootstrapped from the ground-up and is currently only looking to spread the word getting the word out there and getting more customers.
Asked where Washr sees itself in the next five years, Bezzeccheri says that we’ll probably find them somewhere in the Seychelles.