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Team at Cherry getting out of the car washing business

Company cites an "exciting opportunity that emerged while running Cherry" as its next project

Technology trends and news by Steven Loeb
December 24, 2012 | Comments
Short URL: http://vator.tv/n/2c87

A little over a year after launching, the team at car wash startup Cherry has decided to change course, shutting down to “pursue an exciting opportunity that emerged while running Cherry,” the company announced Sunday.

“Thank you for your incredible support and patronage of Cherry! We set out with the ambition to be the best car wash on the planet and fundamentally change the way a consumer orders, experiences, and buys a car wash. Over the past year we’ve washed thousands of cars each month in the San Francisco Bay Area and San Diego,” Cherry wrote in a note on its homepage.

“We have been gratified that the vast majority of our customers rate their Cherry car wash service with very high marks. People genuinely seemed to really like the Cherry concept. We’ve been moving quickly, testing new things and making improvements across our business. In all cases, the goal has been to provide the consumer with a convenient, quality car wash at a good value.”

Over the next ten days, refunds will be provided to customers that pre-paid for car washes with Cherry. Refunds will also be given to those who bought deal coupons for Cherry on Groupon or LivingSocial.

The premise is behind the company was incredibly simple: all a person had to do was check in using the company’s app, which would give it the customer’s location, and someone would be sent to wash their car. Payments were automatically charged to a credit card, including tip, so the customer never had to be involved with the process beyond simply pushing a button. Cherry was frequently called “the Uber for car washes.”

Details about what is next for Cherry as scant at the moment. Cherry CEO Travis VanderZanden told TechCrunch that the new business will not be an updated version of the car wash business.

“While running Cherry, we discovered another opportunity that the team and board decided we should very quickly pursue,” he is quoted as saying.

It is not even clear whether or not the new business, whatever it involves, will even be called Cherry.

VatorNews reached out to Cherry for further details regarding the "exciting opportunity that emerged,” but it has so far been unavailable for comment. We will update if and when we learn more.

Cherry was founded in July 2011, and launched in November 2011 with $750,000 in seed funding from PayPal founder Max Levchin, Yammer CEO David Sacks, and Square COO Keith Rabois.

The company then raised a $4.5 million Series A round on April, bringing the total raised to $5.25M.  The round was led by Shasta Ventures with additional participation from Founders Fund and select angel investors including Shervin Pishevar and Bill Lee.

Here is the full text of Cherry's message to its customers:

"To our loyal Cherry customers,

Thank you for your incredible support and patronage of Cherry! We set out with the ambition to be the best car wash on the planet and fundamentally change the way a consumer orders, experiences, and buys a car wash. Over the past year we’ve washed thousands of cars each month in the San Francisco Bay Area and San Diego. We have been gratified that the vast majority of our customers rate their Cherry car wash service with very high marks. People genuinely seemed to really like the Cherry concept. We’ve been moving quickly, testing new things and making improvements across our business. In all cases, the goal has been to provide the consumer with a convenient, quality car wash at a good value.

After over a year in market, we’ve decided to change courses a bit and pursue an exciting opportunity that emerged while running Cherry. As of December 23rd, we will cease car wash services while we explore alternative options for the Cherry car wash business.

Over the next 10 days, we will be directly providing refunds to all customers who have pre-paid for car washes with us, and working with our marketing partners, Groupon and LivingSocial, to issue refunds on any outstanding deal coupons.

We really appreciate your loyalty and your excitement about Cherry and we sincerely thank you for your business. If you have any thoughts or concerns, don’t hesitate to reach out to us at [email protected].

-The Cherry Team"

Image source: (http://www.autoblog.com)


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