Innovation

Laundrapp: Britain’s Uber for laundry is cleaning up & going global

By Oliver Smith 8 February 2017
Summary

CEO Edward Relf is taking his two-year-old business around the world.

Laundrapp was mocked as a sign of tech opulence gone mad when it launched in 2014. Today the British business is expanding across the world with a mission to become a global Uber of laundry.

No one’s laughing anymore.

“Nobody really knows whether you’re going to make it or not, but our business grew 300% last year, it’ll grow more than that this year, and we’re valued at £30m. ” Laundrapp CEO Edward Relf told The Memo.

In the UK Laundrapp operates in over 100 towns and cities where anyone can tap on their smartphone and have their clothes picked up, dry cleaned and returned.

Building an Uber for laundry was just the start, Relf has global ambitions.

Going global

Starting in Australia and New Zealand, Relf has signed deals with local laundry groups to licence Laundrapp’s delivery software, which includes smart vehicle tracking, a logistics service to manage drivers and mobile technology to create a laundry app.

The first two deals are already live and Relf is in talks to go live with businesses in 15 other countries this year including Mexico, Turkey, Germany, China, France, Iran and the US.

“Our vision is to become the default laundry and dry cleaning tech that underpins the global industry,” says Relf.

“We’re also in talks with between 50 and 60 major companies in 30 markets, across this multi-billion pound sector.”

UK first

With £5m in the bank from a recent funding round, and having acquired its closest UK rival in 2015, Laundrapp’s expansion in the UK isn’t slowing down either.

“I wish it was slowing down, I’d get some rest,” says Relf. “But the truth is absolutely not.”

“We have over 200 vehicles, but the business today is still supply constrained, we’re far far from slowing down.”

Success still definitely isn’t guaranteed, Laundrapp isn’t a cheap service in the UK and we don’t know whether the business will find success abroad.

But Relf’s enthusiasm is contagious, and it might not be misplaced.

If Laundrapp achieves what it’s hoping to, the next global sharing economy business could be British.

Sceptics of the UK’s tech scene may belittle London for not having a Google or Facebook, maybe we’ll just have to settle for an Uber for laundry.