Laun­dry­heap cleans up with ex­pan­sion into US mar­ket

The Daily Telegraph - Business - - Business - By James Cook

A BRI­TISH on-de­mand laun­dry startup has ex­panded to the US fol­low­ing a surge in de­mand dur­ing the coron­avirus pan­demic.

Laun­dry­heap, founded in Lon­don in 2014, raised new fund­ing in April and has launched its on-de­mand laun­dry and dry-clean­ing ser­vice in New York and Bos­ton.

The busi­ness now plans to ex­pand to Los An­ge­les and San Fran­cisco. Chief ex­ec­u­tive Deyan Dim­itrov said he hopes to even­tu­ally reach 20 Amer­i­can cities. “The fact that peo­ple stayed at home ac­tu­ally opened a lot of other pos­si­bil­i­ties for us,” he said.

The start-up saw a drop in cus­tomers for its dry clean­ing ser­vice, but picked up more busi­ness from peo­ple who were self-iso­lat­ing and wanted to clean their laun­dry with a hot­ter wash.

Laun­dry­heap has also seen a rise in en­ter­prise busi­ness from com­pa­nies such as hair­dressers, restau­rants and bars which no longer wanted to en­trust wash­ing their linen to em­ploy­ees.

“A lot more busi­nesses re­alised that this should not be done by them­selves and they can find a com­pany to do it out­side more ef­fi­ciently,” Mr Dim­itrov said. “We’ve seen more com­pa­nies get­ting in con­tact with us. This be­came a big­ger is­sue for them.”

The im­pact of the pan­demic has also en­cour­aged fam­ily-owned laun­derettes

‘More busi­nesses re­alised that this should not be done by them­selves and they can find a com­pany to do it’

to part­ner with the busi­ness to off­set a drop in walk-in cus­tomers, ac­cord­ing to Mr Dim­itrov. “While they might have been scep­ti­cal about the on-de­mand space in the past, with Covid they re­alised how im­por­tant on­line and on-de­mand is,” he said.

Laun­dry­heap is now pre­par­ing to close an­other round of fund­ing, its chief ex­ec­u­tive said. It pre­vi­ously raised £2m from back­ers Si­mon Smith and QVen­tures in 2017.

The pan­demic has seen a surge in de­mand for many on­line laun­dry ser­vices in the UK.

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