Getting reliable laundry service is a common problem for many working professionals who live away from home. Gaurav Agarwal, Co-founder of Pick My Laundry, faced the same plight and decided to seize a business opportunity from it. Thus, Gaurav, along with Ankur Jain and Samar Sisodia, launched Pick My Laundry in May 2015.
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Pick My Laundry offers an affordable premium washing and dry cleaning services delivered at your doorstep within 48 hours. It aggregates laundromats on its platform and takes control of quality, thus solving the major pain point for its users.
Pick My Laundry currently witnesses up to 180 transactions a day during weekends and around 100 transactions a day on weekdays. With more than 10,000 Android app downloads driven completely organically, it has processed a whopping five lakh garments till date.
The Delhi-based on-demand laundry service is growing at 15 percent month-on-month and plans to cover entire NCR first before expanding to other cities. With a customer base of 6,000, the platform operated by a team of 40 is sure about racing ahead of the competition.
The on-demand laundry services market in India has witnessed startups such as Wassup, LaundroKart, LaundryWala, Tooler, DhobiOnline and Urban Dhobi to tap into the growth of the laundry market. According to Euromonitor International report, the laundry market size is forecasted to be Rs 2,20,000 crore, of which 95 percent is unorganised. According to industry experts, the organised segment corresponds to two to three percent of the entire laundry market, of which the online market might be around one-quarter of the organised segment, with promising growth potential.
The average transaction size is around Rs 500. The primary user group for laundry services is single working professionals and working couples. Dry cleaning services are availed by working professionals, housewives, and high net-worth individuals. Another strong user growth is expected from guests staying in hotels since laundry charges at hotels are very high. These orders originate from budget hotels to five-star hotels.
Pick My Laundry has been delivering consistent customer experience across different areas in South Delhi and Gurgaon. It has standardised processes such as detergents, fabric softeners, packaging procedures at different vendors where clothes get washed or dry cleaned. It has also employed a QC team to ensure cloth count and quality at vendors’ location, with the support of QC app provided by Pick My Laundry. The real-time report generation helps in addressing customer grievances during delivery itself.
Pick My Laundry missed its initial target of achieving 300 orders daily but is slowly and surely inching towards it. To meet its growth trajectory, it has already started B2B services such as linen laundry for hotels. The platform estimates a revenue of Rs 10 lakh from B2B services alone. It also plans to soon launch another business vertical to boost sales. It recently released an iOS app to tap into the high demand from customers. With high conversion rate, its referral system has been the best channel for acquiring new customers.
At an operational level, the platform started making a profit by reducing costs on many fronts by adequate use of technology. Nonetheless, it has a net cash burn every month because of corporate expenditures.
Investors seem to be confident about the growth of Pick my Laundry. The edited excerpt of Vikram Upadhyaya, Founder of GHV Accelerator, says “Pick My Laundry has picked up right unit economics at the right time with the right team and relies on a solid business model during this slowdown of funding environment. At GHV, we are very confident of the team and believe that the technology as a key differentiator has not only helped them to scale the business but also to survive in the tough market conditions.”
To get a grasp of future growth plans, we had a chat with Gaurav. He said they are in talks to raise cash and will share the details when it happens. But he doesn’t seem worried for now. The founding team is in the process of building strategic partnerships with other startups too, for whom laundry can be an integrated service and a value addition for their respective customers.
Asked about competition from other players in the market, Gaurav believes the only way forward is by keeping the unit economics right and focusing on seamless customer experience. He says:
“Pick My Laundry owns the customer experience which was not the case with many of the big horizontal players that shut their laundry operations.”
He further explains that “market consolidation by big players is the least worry to us, as every day, we are working towards strengthening our backend operations, which is paying off and will help us grow exponentially in the long run”.
The numbers speak for themselves.