Today, we’re delighted to announce that Laundrapp has acquired Washbox – one of our biggest competitors. The acquisition, which was revealed in the London Evening Standard today, cements Laundrapp’s position as London’s most popular dry cleaning and laundry app and will help fuel further growth in new cities across the UK.
Washbox, which launched last year as part of the Ignite startup accelerator, was one of the first on-demand laundry and dry cleaning apps to launch in London and an early competitor to Laundrapp. Washbox CEO Danny Vaughton said he was thrilled to join Laundrapp and that existing Washbox customers would be offered an exclusive opportunity to try Laundrapp within the next few days.
Want to know more about how the acquisition will effect existing Washbox customers and how Laundrapp plans to grow? We spoke to Laundrapp CEO Ed Relf to get the answers…
Q: Hi Ed! Firstly, what inspired you to acquire Washbox and how do you think it will improve Laundrapp’s offering?
Ed Relf: We’ve always loved what Washbox does. As one of the first mobile laundry and dry cleaning services in this field we’ve learned a lot from the team and their approach. We know they’re a natural fit for Laundrapp and we’re all united in our vision of a future without washing machines!
Honestly, we’re thrilled to finally announce the acquisition. It’s great news for Washbox and great news for our customers too. Washbox will help us expand and eliminate laundry woes from even more homes across the UK.
Q: How will Washbox customers be affected by the acquisition?
Ed Relf: Washbox will in effect discontinue and all Washbox customers will be invited to use Laundrapp. We look forward to giving all previous Washbox customers an exclusive offer and the chance to sample our service. We know they won’t be disappointed!
Q: There’s been a boom in on-demand laundry apps recently. How will the acquisition of Washbox help Laundrapp stand out?
Ed Relf: The on-demand laundry business is growing very rapidly and it’s inevitable there’ll be consolidation at some point. Laundrapp is already the fastest growing and largest business in this sector, but the acquisition still brings additional experience and expanded services. We’ll be unveiling these over the coming weeks – so watch this space!
Q: Uber. Hassle. Deliveroo. There’s been a lot of on-demand businesses emerging in the last few years! What do you think has driven this boom?
Ed Relf: The on-demand market is absolutely booming and 2015 really looks to be the year of on-demand startups. The irony is that companies such as Uber have actually been around for more than 5 years!
What’s helped drive the recent success is that consumers have become much more confident with using on-demand services on their phones. Apps such as Uber have really helped bring on-demand to the mainstream and inspired an entire ecosystem of real-world, on-demand services.
Q: How has this on-demand boom changed the way traditional dry cleaners operate? Can they compete?
Ed Relf: Traditional local dry cleaners will always exist. Like most on-demand services, Laundrapp appeals mostly to a younger and more tech savvy audience. We’re very similar to Uber in that respect. We’re changing the way these people do their laundry and dry cleaning, but local services will continue to exist. Competition is all about knowing your strengths!
Q: Do you think wearables will drive further change?
Ed Relf: We’re certainly interested in wearables! By their very nature wearables such as Android Wear and the Apple Watch lend themselves well to on-demand services. We’re watching closely, but don’t have anything to announce at this time.
Q: What are the biggest challenges of running an on-demand laundry service? What’s the biggest lesson you’ve learned so far?
Ed Relf: Like all rapidly growing startups we’re learning every single day. One of my favorite Steve Jobs quotes is “move fast and break things”. We try not to break too much, but as a startup we’re not precious if it means we can innovate faster.
One of the key lessons we’ve learned so far is the delicate balance between supply and demand – for an on-demand service striking this balance is absolutely critical to success.
Q: Laundrapp has grown an awful lot in the past six months. How have you been so successful and what do you have planned for the future?
Ed Relf: It’s true we’re growing quickly, but the real mark of our success is that we’ve grown so fast while still delighting our customers. Growth is no substitute for customer satisfaction and, while there are sometimes bumps in every road, we always strive to delight our customers.
The future is very bright for Laundrapp now. We’re really pleased with all the feedback we’ve had from our many thousands of customers and how we use that to improve on a daily basis. In just 20 weeks since launch we’ve cleaned over 250,000 items. Now we’re cleaning an item every 10 seconds!
Laundrapp has the potential to revolutionise an entire industry and give people across the UK a chance to discover more free time. Our mission is to bring this laundry liberation to as many people around the world as possible!
Thanks for your time, Ed! Are you ready to join our laundry revolution too? Download Laundrapp or order dry cleaning and laundry services online in just 30 seconds at Laundrapp.com!