Dry-cleaning robotics startup Presso raises $1.6M as it shifts focus to Hollywood

Robotic dry-cleaning startup Presso today announced that it has closed a $1.6 million pre-seed with investment from Pathbreaker, AME Cloud Ventures, SOSV, 1517 Fund and YETI Capital. The Atlanta-based startup has developed a kiosk capable of dry cleaning a garment in around five minutes.

Initially focused on business travelers, with plans to install machines in hotel hallways, the COVID-19 pandemic found the startup switching focus — a fairly common story in 2020. Instead, Presso has shifted much of its efforts to film and TV production. The company says the latest generation of its tech is capable of cleaning/disinfecting up to 150 costumes in a day — a key demand as many studios have begun to ramp up production, in spite of the continuing pandemic. Netflix, HBO, Apple TV, FOX, Disney and Hulu have all approached the company about its tech.

This latest round brings Presso’s full funding up to $2.2 million, money it plans to spend on scaling up manufacturing, while doubling its headcount over the course of the next six or so months. I’d expect the team will also refocus some of its efforts on earlier models — like hotel delivery — once travel ramps up again in the U.S.