“I’ll Laundromap that”: NZ dry cleaning tech startup enters Australia seeking $3-4m to grow
Hayden Foster, CEO, Laundromap (centre)
Thu 12 October 2017 - 3:06 pmFeatured | Raising capital | Startup
On-demand dry cleaning pick-up and delivery service Laundromap has now launched in Perth and Sydney, with the founders of the New Zealand tech startup in the midst of planned $3-4 million capital raise to service further capitals across Australia.
Since launching in New Zealand last year, Laundromap has grown at a rate of 30% month-on-month. Meanwhile, the startup’s app, which facilitates home or office laundry/dry cleaning pickup and delivery for users while providing them with real-time updates via a GPS tracking system, has been downloaded 15,000 times across iOS and android devices.
CEO Hayden Foster, who co-founded Laundromap with Adam Plowman, spoke to Dynamic Business about the startup, including its plans for Australia.
DB: What is the elevator pitch for Laundromap?
Foster: Essentially, we’re bringing your dirty clothes into the 21st century with a service offering that is truly customer centric. The 2016 Census data found that Australians spend between five and 14 hours a week on domestic housework and the Laundromap app can reduce time spent on Laundry to just a few minutes. In a few clicks and taps of an iPhone or tablet – the entire job is done, from your home. Just as you no longer need to queue for your morning coffee or a cab, thanks to us, you’ll never need to queue for your dry-cleaning again.
DB: How did the startup come into existence?
Foster: The Laundromap concept was born when Adam grew tired of taking his dry cleaning in to work each day. He thought there must be a better way – a way to wipe the dry cleaning off the ‘to-do’ list forever. After doing some research, he discovered that while on-demand dry cleaning did exist, there was no one in the ANZ region doing it. Once we knew there was a gap in the market we jumped at the opportunity to provide a truly customer-centric offering and after completing market testing and validation we launched in early 2016.
DB: What prompted the Australia rollout?
Foster: Given the similarities between the markets in New Zealand and Australia it made sense to launch into the latter so we could add scale to the business. There are a lot of cross overs from an industry perspective and a consumer perspective. Both markets are highly fragmented, with an absence of a nationally trusted retail dry cleaning brand, and thus ripe for disruption. In terms of consumers, both Kiwis and Aussies have similar habits and are looking for ways to save time on the chores and spend more time doing the things they love.
DB: Why commence with Perth and Sydney?
Foster: Perth was chosen as the first launch destination given it’s a smaller city and we could iron out any initial logistics issues before rolling out on a larger scale. Once we’d learnt the market in Perth, it made sense to launch to Sydney given it has the largest population and is the biggest market in Australia.
DB: Has it been a smooth transition from NZ?
Foster: Pretty smooth. Obviously, a lot of work needs to go in before we launch in a specific city, and we take our time in doing this, but thanks to some careful planning and a great team there was nothing unexpected. However, we never stop learning and each city has its own nuances and things that keep it interesting!
DB: What ambitions do you have for Laundromap?
Foster: Our goal is to become the first standardised and trusted dry-cleaning brand across ANZ operating all major cities, before looking at potential opportunities in Asia. Just like consumers say, ‘I’ll Facebook it”, “LinkedIn them” or “get an Uber”, we want them to say “I’ll Laundromap that”.