Chicago’s Starchup is the GrubHub of Laundry Service

May 18, 2015

11:00 am

There are multiple startups in the laundry service/dry cleaning vertical. A lot of them make their business in pickup, cleaning, and delivery of clothes to customers. Some even offer same-day service. Sure, it's a disruption of the market, and one that takes business away from brick & mortar dry cleaners (which I suppose is the point…you want to acquire customers by providing a better service, thus getting them to switch to you). However, one startup is disrupting the laundry service industry in a different way.

Chicago based Starchup has created a product that will help dry cleaners and laundry services stay competitive, streamline their business, and keep customers happy. Their product is a software platform that businesses can purchase to keep track of transactions, simplify deliveries, collect data on customers, and help expand their business.

“We wanted to attack it like a two-sided marketplace, so something like a GrubHub or an Uber, where we are just the technology in the middle that allows businesses that are already up and running to connect with new consumers,” Dan Tobon, CEO and founder, said. “So our big pitch is that our software allows for incremental sales and reaching new customers that you otherwise would not have reached had you not had this technology.”

Right now Starchup offers a management platform and a driver app, but they are currently working on a search platform that is set to launch in a couple months. This search function will give customers the ability to find businesses that use Starchup by location. This is the primary way that Starchup plans to help businesses reach new customers. Once customers find a business using the app, they can choose the service they want, and set up a time for pick up. They can also provide ratings and reviews.

Starchup recently competed in and won the Scion Motivatour competition, where Scion pairs up startup founders with founders of successful businesses such as Kickstarter and Threadless. Winners receive a cash prize and an appearance in a Scion advertisement. The startup has also received undisclosed angel investments from Tribal Ventures. Their goal is to eventually expand to other cities besides Chicago.


Image Credit: Jay Mantri



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Kristin is an aspiring entrepreneur who is enthusiastically navigating her way through the DC startup space. She has an unending passion for learning and is never satisfied with the status quo. During the day she is an ops, biz dev, and marketing maven for Fission Strategy