Laundry is an essential service of the urban daily life, and the irony is most of us are aware how disorganised the service is in our neighbourhood. Washermen operate as per their own whims and fancies, hygiene is seldom maintained and delivery times are never met. With the world advancing and traditional sectors adopting new technologies for modernisation, shouldn’t our laundry habits change too?
Sensing a market opportunity, Chennai-based startup Wassup is leveraging modern technology and in a quick span of time, it has created a strong niche in the marketplace.
Wassup, a startup founded in 2011, provides on-demand laundry and dry-cleaning service, all enabled on an app. It offers its service in eight cities—Bengaluru, Delhi, Gurgaon, Mumbai, Chennai, Kochi and Pune. The startup, which employs 300 people, has processed more than 40 million garments providing service to over three lakh customers.
“Our vision is to be in 25 top cities in India with 10 million customers and upgrade the lives of over one lakh washermen in this sector,” say Balachandar, co-founder & CEO, Wassup and Durga Das who has over 25 years of Silicon Valley experience along with being a serial
entrepreneur and angel investor. “We are the approved laundry partners for leading hospitality brands like Taj, Oberoi, Marriott, Radisson, Ascott, among others,” says Balachandar.
On the entrepreneurial foray into the laundry segment, Balachandar, who has over 15 years of retail and fashion experience, says: “I found the laundry industry very attractive as it is unexplored and unorganised market and there are hardly any professional companies present in it. There is a huge scope for bringing in modern technology in it. Technology can certainly help move the unorganised sector to the organised.”
Wassup, which has raised $2 million so far in funding, recently acquired Mumbai Chamak brand and Hyderabad-based Ezeewash. It is also in discussions with three more potential brands for acquisition. The Wassup service is currently on-demand either through app, website, call centre and 50 stores across India.
Wassup has created a long and deep technology chain to enable that everything runs smoothly. The technology framework includes a smart mobile app connecting the customers, a customised point of sale (PoS) system, a CRM that tracks every customer and their profiles. This also includes a logistics tracking software called Xpress to keep a tab on the orders.
“We are currently doing 600-odd orders per day in the retail space which will increase to 2,000 in the next quarter. We have expanded to five new cities in the last six months and are consolidating our operations in these cities,” says Balachandar.
The Wassup CEO expects to be operationally profitable in all cities in the next two months and have company level profitability in the next four months.