If you live in London, you may have heard of Laundrapp, one of a plethora of on-demand laundry startups targeting the UK capital city (and other cities in the country). After disclosing a £1.5 million funding round in January, the company has been spending heavily on marketing, not least television, radio and billboard advertising.
That’s something that is relatively uncommon, although not unheard of, for such an early-stage company, and is sometimes frowned upon by investors. Laundrapp was founded in 2014 but only saw its official launch at the start of this year.
Today the startup’s advertising coffers get anther boost. The company has raised a further £4 million to be used for “continued rapid expansion” across the UK, and — you’ve guessed it — a “substantial investment” in marketing. In other words, don’t expect those TV ads to disappear any time soon.
Currently available in London, Edinburgh, and Birmingham, Laundrapp competes with a number of Uber-styled on-demand laundry apps.
There’s also ihateironing.com, which partners with local dry cleaners who handle collection and delivery, but under the ihateironing brand, and LaundryRepublic, which operates a 24-hour “locker-based laundry and dry cleaning service”, negating the need for a customer to be home for pickup and delivery.
On how crowded the, albeit nascent, on-demand laundry app market appears to be, Laundrapp co-founder and CEO Ed Relf told me in January:
Actually we don’t believe the market is crowded at all, to the contrary this market is very much in it’s infancy and we see Laundrapp as being the service that will revolutionise the digital on-demand laundry industry. We see our competitor more as the washing machine, we’re trying to encourage an entirely new consumer habit with Laundrapp in the same way as Uber did with on-demand travel, we’re not competing with other laundry services, we’re actually creating an entirely new category, there’s a bigger mission.
Meanwhile, Laundrapp’s new funding comes from a group of investors including Michael Spencer, founder of interdealer broker ICAP plc, and Jeff Blue, the former strategic development director at Sports Direct International.