We hobnob with Edward Relf from Laundrapp as he dishes out all of the dirt (literally!)
So, what does Laundrapp do?
Laundrapp is a revolutionary business using smartphone technology to bring professional laundry & dry cleaning services directly to the door of customers across the country. Laundrapp is often referred to as the Uber for Laundry thanks to the smart digital technology, real-time tracking and growth of the business.
How did the idea for business come about?
Quite simply a walk down my local high street. It was the realisation that every other business on the high street had been completely turned on its head by smart digital technology and the local cleaner was one of the few businesses yet to be transformed by the smartphone in your pocket. It’s such a simple idea and I am still surprised it hadn’t been done but like all great ideas there’s no value in an idea, the value is in the execution.
When was the company first established?
We incorporated the business in April 2014 however, it wasn’t until January 2015 when we officially launched Laundrapp in London. 54 weeks on we’re not only one of the most exciting start-ups here in the UK but also one of the fastest growing!
How is the business doing?
We are blown away by the speed, growth and adoption of Laundrapp. In just 54 weeks we’ve cleaned approaching 1m garments, the app has been downloaded almost 200,000 times and we’ve opened in a new town or city every week now in over 50 locations across the country. There aren’t many examples of companies with this level of growth and trajectory after just a year, we couldn’t be prouder, and busy. And I’ve lost my remaining hair in the process!
Since the company began, what has been the biggest challenge?
By far and away changing consumer habit and behaviour. Every other business I’ve scaled has been within a pre-existing industry or market, Laundrapp is unlike any business that proceeded it and it’s largely thanks to the growing dominance of services such as Uber or Deliveroo that Laundrapp could even exist. That said, educating customers that they can now do their laundry & dry cleaning in a few swipes via their smartphone requires a hell of a lot of educating and trust and this is something that can’t be built overnight. This has been a big challenge and a challenge shared by many great and innovative businesses, if this wasn’t easy it probably wouldn’t be worth doing in the first place!
What makes you stand out from your competitors?
We have few competitors therefore, Laundrapp is an entirely revolutionary service. That said, moving people from the traditional bricks & mortar dry cleaner to a digital service such as Laundrapp is an ongoing challenge. There are so many things that make a service such as Laundrapp standout from your local cleaner, firstly the smartphone technology adds a layer of convenience that never previously existed in the market. Laundrapp also standardises prices and adds transparency to the entire industry as well as the convenience of bringing these services to the door at a time and place that suits you. Every part of the Laundrapp business is revolutionary compared to the dusty old traditional laundry & dry cleaning industry that hasn’t changed in the last five decades, Laundrapp is the future.
What’s been your best business decision?
The strength of a start-up is the speed of decision-making, we’re quick to make decisions, learn, adapt and pivot if required. As a business we’re not scared of making mistakes, we embrace mistakes equally along with the good decisions, fortunately, we make more good decisions than bad. A number of good decisions made quickly are better than a great decision made slowly!
What is next for Laundrapp?
Who knows. This year our focus is very much on growth. We’ve built a technology platform to scale and now we’re launching new locations almost on a daily basis as we move to offer a full national service. The key to this point is the quality of service and not sacrificing this through aggressive scaling, now we’ve optimised the technology and supply chain we’re ready to scale exponentially. Internationalisation is interesting to us but again not at the sacrifice of offering the best possible service across the UK, without a great service we won’t attract repeat customers and without repeat customers, you don’t have a business.
If you could help one business now with a single piece of advice, what would it be?
It doesn’t make sense hiring smart people then telling them what to do! Hire smart people and let them tell you what to do!
Finally, Edward what is your favourite biscuit?
Has to be a Hobnob although they aren’t great for dunking in hot tea!