Presso shifts focus to clothing disinfecting for film studios amid COVID-19 concerns

The Presso team first piqued my interest in a trip to Hong Kong last summer. The startup promised a clever approach to dry-cleaning that involved setting up robotic kiosks in hotel hallways. The product is aimed at traveling business people looking for a quick clean of rumpled clothing ahead of an important business meeting. Best of all, it cuts out pricey hotel laundry services.

Obviously, a lot has changed since late-August, and like many others, the team has attempted to find a way to leverage its technology in the battle against the spread of COVID-19. The solution is a bit more niche than some, but Presso is still a fairly small team. The company has added a disinfecting element to its robot in line with CDC guidelines and has begun selling a limited number of units to TV and film production companies.

“My family in India actually contracted coronavirus and my mom and grandparents had to be hospitalized,” co-founder and CEO Nishant Jain told TechCrunch. “They are all safe now thankfully. If we can play even a small part in keeping clothes sanitized and people safe, we’d be honored. Even our team members have been quite active with helping out their local communities by sourcing masks and PPE for hospitals and designing ventilators.”

The move comes as California governor Gavin Newsom has announced plans to get film production back on track. Many studios are balking at such a rush to return to work, but for those who are still interested, Presso is offering up units for sets looking to remove the potential spread of the highly contagious novel coronavirus.

Presso’s latest push is fueled in part by an additional $250,000 in funding, bringing the team’s total up to $511,000. The company says it’s seen a 200% growth in orders from one month to the next, including high-profile clients like Disney/Marvel, HBO, CBS and FOX.