March 17, 2014
I don’t know many people who enjoy doing laundry. Actually, let me retract that. I don’t know ANYone who enjoys doing laundry. It’s a hassle and a time sink, and then you still have to fold everything and put it away. There are many dry cleaners and laundry services out there to do this pesky task for you, but they can be expensive, and sometimes less convenient than doing it yourself. Luckily a service has come along that makes doing laundry as easy as a couple taps on your iPhone.
Washio, which first launched in LA, is an on-demand laundry delivery service–think Uber for your sweaty gym clothes and business suits. They’ve been so successful in the LA market that they’ve recently launched in San Francisco and now DC. They are not the only service like it, startup MintLocker has been making similar waves rolling out in Las Vegas.
Their goal is to make laundry service and dry cleaning super convenient and to improve the customer experience. Part of their customer satisfaction is dependent on an enthusiastic team of laundry “ninjas” that do all the pick up and delivery. Ninjas are the face of Washio and are the key to a seamless Washio experience.
According to co-founder Juan Dulanto, the expansion to DC was encouraged by several of their angel investors, mostly because of the “high concentration of young professionals, a lot of suits, and cold weather.” He also mentions that there is a direct correlation between cold weather and dry cleaner revenue (safe to say that DC dry cleaners must have made a killing this winter).
Prices start at $1.60 per pound of laundry with a $20 minimum. Delivery is $3.99 but free for orders over $35. Dry cleaning ranges from $5 to $35 per piece depending on the item.
Washio also offers a benefits package for employers called Washio Enterprise. Dulanto says:
“The average professional spends 120 hours/year on laundry, folding and dry cleaning – the equivalent of 3 full work weeks. Our enterprise offering allows companies to provide dry cleaning and laundry service as a perk to their employees with an easy to manage back end that allows them to customize how much each employee has in Washio credits per month.”
So far Enterprise is only offered in LA and San Francisco, but hopefully it will be coming to DC soon.
What sets Washio apart from other laundry and dry cleaning services is their customer first culture, seamless service, quick turnaround, and adaptability. DC is a great market for such a service, cold weather or not.
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