Cherry brings the carwash to you and gets $750K

Faith Merino · November 8, 2011 · Short URL:

The company is backed by Max Levchin, David Sacks, and Keith Rabois

Washing your own car is something you do if you live in the suburbs, you’re hot, and you own a pair of short jean cutoff shorts.  Barring those requirements (or if it’s just too cold to bust out your jean cutoffs), you do what the rest of us do: pay someone else to wash your car. 

Today, a new startup launches to bring the carwash to you.  On-demand car wash service Cherry launched Tuesday with $750K in seed funding from PayPal founder Max Levchin, Yammer CEO David Sacks, and Square COO Keither Rabois.

The premise is beautifully simple.  The fact is: I am so damned lazy that I will not only not wash my own car, but will put off having someone else do it if it means I have to actually get in my car and drive somewhere to have it done.  That’s possibly 20 minutes out of my weekend that I’m just not willing to give up so easily.  Cherry allows me to check in on the Cherry app using my iPhone, which gives the company my location, and they come down to where ever I’ve parked my car to wash it without requiring any further interfacing with me.

Payment is automatically charged to my credit card and includes the tip, though if I think the cleaning was particularly careful and thorough, I can give my carwash a five star rating, which will give a bonus to whoever washed my car.

Each carwash costs $29 (a small price to pay if it means I can go about my day and come back to a clean car) and includes an exterior and interior cleaning, as well as air freshener.  All washes are done with an eco-friendly biodegradable carwash solution with portable sprayers that are designed to wash cars with significantly less water runoff than traditional carwashes.

All you need to do is park your car in an accessible spot—a public street or garage, for example—and check in.  If you choose to get the interior cleaning (again, a small price to pay if it means someone else will vacuum all the dog hair out of my car and wipe the spilled coffee from my cupholders for me), you just leave the doors unlocked and the washer will lock up your car for you when he/she is done.

CEO Travis VanderZanden tells me that this has backfired on Cherry once—back when the company didn’t require a license plate number during its closed beta. 

“That worked well until we got a request to wash a black BMW 3-series in a parking lot.  Our washer ended up washing the wrong BMW.  While the washer was cleaning the interior, the owner came out and saw someone in his car.  He was upset for a second until he noticed how clean the car was.”  What did the owner do?  He did what anyone would do if they walked out to their car to find someone cleaning it for them: he paid for the carwash and asked how he could sign up for future washes.

“We now require a license plate,” VanderZanden added.

Founded in July 2011, Cherry has been in private beta since September and launches today in San Francisco, though the company has plans to expand to other parts of the country in the near future. 

To get the ball rolling, Cherry is offering free carwashes to the first 100 VatorNews readers in San Francisco to register through the following link:

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