It’s often said that the smartphone has become a remote control for our daily lives. But one man believed it was only right that he used tit to create a remote control for our laundry. That man is Edward Relf, CEO of an app called Laundrapp, which is often described as the “Uber of Laundry”.
Laundrapp is an app with one of the most sophisticated and effective logistics technology that allows dry cleaners to connect directly with both new and existing customers. Relf joined The Startup Network interview couch to tell us more…
Tell us about Laundrapp and what makes it distinct to any other companies.
Did you know that the average person spends over three hours per week doing their laundry & ironing? This is why we developed Laundrapp – a time-saving app that does these chores for you, leaving you with more quality time to do things you really want to do.
Most people don’t realise Laundrapp is fundamentally a technology business. We’ve created three underlying technologies that solve issues around real-time collection & delivery, efficient fleet management, and an award winning front end app combined to create The Laundrapp Platform. In short, our technology allows for rapid expansion across an entire city, region or country and it’s through this Laundrapp Platform that our business has been able to scale to over 100 towns & cities in the UK in a very short space of time. Beyond this our technology also supports white label meaning our ‘Powered by Laundrapp’ technology is now already live in New Zealand & Australia and shortly Brazil with other regions to be announced soon. All of this has been made possible by our Laundrapp Platform which has grown to become one of the world’s most cutting edge, on-demand technology platforms.
What is your personal background?
I’m a self-confessed digital disruptor! I’m passionate about creating digital businesses with the power to bring convenience to our lives as well as challenge existing business models. I’ve always been an entrepreneur and always had a passion for changing behaviour through digital innovation. Like every entrepreneur, I’ve had a string of failures, and fortunately a few successes along the way. The key thing with being an entrepreneur is being fearless, I learnt long ago to be comfortable with being uncomfortable so the market I operate best within is the other side of fear!
What inspired you to start the company?
We have three amazing co-founders each with an incredible background of logistics, technology and marketing brought together by a simple goal, to the change the world of laundry! This is a market worth hundreds of billions globally, that’s a lot of laundry and not a lot of technology! In the same way Uber disrupted taxis, and Airbnb unsettled hotels, Laundrapp is challenging the washing machine!
What is the story of the company from launch until now? How big is the company now?
Laundrapp is one of the fastest growing start-ups in the UK. The business has been growing exponentially, cleaning millions of items a month and now covering 100 towns & cities. The business is operational across 3 international markets today with our goal to launch into 15 over the next two years! All of this has been achieved in just over two years since launching Laundrapp. We’re overwhelmed by the demand for the service and it’s still very much just the beginning of our story! Our dream is for Laundrapp to become the technological backbone for the entire global laundry & dry cleaning industry, we’re well on the path to achieving this!
What is the biggest challenge you’ve faced so far in your company?
Our biggest challenge by far is changing consumer habit and behaviour. We have big dreams and bold ambitions! Our mission is to compete with the washing machine and we believe in the future services, such as Laundrapp, could make washing machines and home domestic laundry very much a thing of the past. This won’t happen next week, next month or even next year, but it will happen, and Laundrapp is very much the pioneer of this movement.
What’s your biggest milestone/ which are you most proud of?
We’re truly breaking new ground every day and as an entrepreneur this is what energises me. I’m not scared of failure and certainly not scared of setting ambitious goals with a business like Laundrapp. I dream big and drive myself hard to achieve! There’s so much to be proud of, however, I believe the best is still very much yet to come.
What is your business model? How have you monetised your product?
The business model is simple. Three swipes, laundry done. As a customer you choose if you wish to itemise your order or let us count your garments, then leave the rest to us. On placing the order, we simply charge you for the service. We have variable pricing based on location and supplier however keep everything clear and transparent, trust is key for a service like Laundrapp.
What’s the next step for growth?
We are now all about growth, aggressive growth! Our white label technology stack is infinitely scalable so focus for my team is continue growing the UK market, followed by a rapid international expansion. There’s a blue ocean globally for on-demand laundry & dry cleaning and I believe Laundrapp will quickly grow to become the dominant technology in this space. This market seeks convenience, what can be more convenient than doing your laundry whilst commuting to work!
Will you be looking for more funding?
Start-ups never truly stop fundraising. At this stage the focus is to grow as fast as humanly possible, which requires capital. The best time to fundraise is when you don’t require the funds so I believe you never truly stop fundraising and by adopting this approach you avoid the pitfalls often experienced by early stage rapid growth businesses. We have a proven technology, huge global consumer demand therefore for a business such as Laundrapp to truly deliver on its extraordinary potential requires ongoing capital. Watch this space.