Oh those dreaded words…It’s Laundry Day! I have never met one person, even my saintly housewife of a Mother, that enjoys doing laundry. It is one of the necessary evils in order to wear clean clothes to work or play. The next best thing was a dry cleaners, but even they only wanted shirts, pants, dresses and suits – but what about your socks, underwear, bedsheets or other unmentionables? Then there’s the hassle of dropping the clothes off and picking them up – a few have pickup and drop-off services, but it was like waiting for the cable guy – we’ll see you in the morning or afternoon and so you would wait. You could always leave the bag on the front porch, but what about the clean clothes being delivered – are you going to put a hanger on your front door?
There has to be a better way…we joke that there must be an app for that…well there is: Washio. Washio calls themselves, “The Uber of laundry,” and has already built themselves a following in the only three cities it is currently being offered – Los Angeles, San Francisco and Washington, D.C. – with expansion on a continual basis and hopes of being in the top 10 major cities by the end of 2015. What really differentiates Washio from the current pickup and drop off laundry services is timing – the customer can work within 30-minute intervals, seven days a week. Jordan Metzner, 31, is Washio’s co-founder and he said that business is up 100-percent since January, although he declined to give any exact figures except that they number in the thousands. Washio has raised $14 million already from some high-powered investors, including Ashton Kutcher and Justin Bieber’s manager, Scooter Braun, who said, “Uber reinvented a long-time existing business. That’s what Washio is doing â€” taking something we all need and making it easier and more accessible.” Other companies are already testing the waters with similar businesses – Washport in Philadelphia and FlyCleaners in Brooklyn.
People seem to love using their smartphone for service – press a button to summon a cab, press another to summon Uber, press another to order food, and now press a button to have someone pickup your laundry and then drop it off. Washio starts out at $1.60 a pound for the wash-and-fold services and $2.75 to have a shirt dry cleaned. You simply enter the time and date for pickup and delivery using the app. The clothes are picked up and dropped off by what they call “Washio ninjas” – people who use their own vehicle and pay for their own gas and can make as much as $28 an hour. These ninjas say that most customers are happy to see them because someone else is doing their laundry for them.
Whereas local cabbies are raising a fuss about Uber stealing their business, the local dry cleaners do not seem troubled by the competition…for two reasons – first, Washio drops the clothes off at local industrial cleaners and secondly, many people like to ‘know’ their dry cleaner and know they can rely on them for personal service. Washio seems to be tapping into another segment of the market – the mobile first customer. Please hit us up on our Google+ Page and let us know if this is a service that you would like to see come to your area…as always, we would love to hear from you.