With a rapidly growing urban population in NCR region, working professionals and couples are increasingly looking for on-demand solutions to cater to their daily needs, and laundry is definitely one of the activities topping their ‘to-do’ work list on weekends. This article brings to you five on-demand startups catering to the laundry and cleaning needs of Delhi-NCR residents.
The laundry market is pegged at Rs 2.2 lakh crore, with the unorganised market, which includes dhobis, house help, and mom-and-pop stores, valued at Rs 5,000 crore.
For customers, washed and dry-cleaned clothes are delivered to their doorstep. For vendors, the significant real estate component (the front-end, an added cost) is eliminated.
The laundry business has prevailed for a long time. With on-demand, there are value-added services that enhance an existing market. An on-demand laundry service hires delivery professionals, and partners with the local dhobis to manage them (aggregators). Alternatively, they hire skilled labour and use technical leverage to wash and dry-clean the clothes.
Today, all major cities like Bengaluru, Delhi, Jaipur, Hyderabad, Mumbai, Chennai, and others have laundry startups that are on a mission to organise the traditional sector. Here is a list of five laundry and cleaning startups operating in Delhi-NCR.
Launched in October 2016 by Arunabh Sinha, UClean offers laundry, dry cleaning, iron, and home cleaning services in 14 cities across India. The Faridabad-based startup recently raised a pre-Series A of Rs 4 crore funding from US-based angel investor Anubhav Chopra. In February 2018, the integrated laundry services provider entered the home cleaning space with Mint Clean and later launched its Android and iOS apps for the convenience of last-minute bookings and quick doorstep services.
Pick My Laundry
Founded by a team of three IITians – Gaurav Agrawal, along with Ankur Jain and Samar Sisodia in May 2015, Pick My Laundry is currently offering wash & fold, wash & iron, premium laundry, and dry cleaning services to Delhi-NCR residents. Launched with an initial investment of Rs 10 lakh, the startup claims that it got over 7,500 app downloads within two months of inception. Pick My Laundry is banking on its express delivery, delivering fresh clothes within 48 hours, as its big USP.
Tooler is an on-demand laundry service currently operational in Delhi (NCR). Launched in 2015 by Himanshu Gupta, Vishal Gupta and Sukanth Srivastav, the company claims to have amassed 3,500 downloads (on Android) within three months of inception. In the crowded marketplace of on-demand laundry startups, the company is betting on its proprietary wash techniques with specifically chosen detergents, softeners and absorbents to create a niche among other players.
Launched in 2015, Noida based online on-demand laundry service provider was launched by Manuj Khurana (alumnus of IIM-B), Divya Aggarwal (alumnus of IIM-C), and Chetan Malhotra (alumnus of IIFT, Delhi). Besides laundry, LaundryWala also offers dry cleaning and wash & fold services, and other value added services, such as starching, bags cleaning, steam ironing, and saree polishing in Noida.
The online SaaS platform that connects customers and vendors for laundry and cleaning services was founded by Nishant Tripathi and Abhishek Kumar, alumni of IIT-BHU with a small laundry setup in Noida in 2011. The cleaning service provider, which runs services both in B2B and B2C channels, has a two-pronged revenue model: pay-as-you-use model and subscription-based. Besides Delhi-NCR, the platform is also operational in Lucknow, Bengaluru, and Hyderabad.
Although the on-demand laundry is growing, there are several challenges like low margins, shortage of skilled labour, backend issues, logistics, low-customer retention, and others that are impacting the growth of startups in this space. However, besides these lows, the sector is expected to grow robustly. Laundry Care Market: Global Industry Analysis and Opportunity Assessment, a report by FMI, estimates that the global laundry sector is expected to grow from about $75.5 billion in 2017 to nearly $127 billion by the end of 2027, resulting in a CAGR of 5.3 percent during the 10-year period.