Rinse raises $6M for on-demand dry cleaning

Ronny Kerr · April 19, 2016 · Short URL: https://vator.tv/n/44e7

Javelin Venture Partners leads a round for startup in the crowded laundry market

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Rinse, provider of on-demand dry cleaning and laundry services, today announced that it has raised $6 million in Series A funding led by Javelin Venture Partners with participation from Arena Ventures, CAA Ventures, Accelerator Ventures, Expansion VC, Structure Capital, Otter Rock Capital, and Base Ventures.

The company has raised $9.5 million to date. As part of the new funding round, Alex Gurevich (Partner at Javelin Venture Partners) is joining Rinse’s board of directors.

Just another piece of the on-demand puzzle, Rinse offers customers every kind of clothing care, from regular laundry services to dry cleaning, hand wash, and repairs. You schedule a pick-up time in the app and then wait for your order to arrive a couple days later. Pricing depends on the kind of service. For example, dry cleaning pants and blouses costs $7 per item, but a simple wash and fold costs $1.50 per pound.

Today the company operates in San Francisco and Los Angeles.

As much sense as Rinse may make, all that sense has led to more than one startup seeking to own this space. Here’s a sampling of the competitors Rinse is going up against:

  • Washio is a nearly identical service to Rinse, offering dry cleaning, wash and fold, and laundered shirts in Boston, Chicago, L.A, Oakland, San Francisco, and Washington D.C. Founded in 2013 and headquartered in Los Angeles, the company has raised over $16 million in venture capital.
  • Instawash offers on-demand laundry and dry cleaning in San Francisco. The company uniquely provides commercial services for businesses (including hair salons, restaurants, and massage spas) that need laundry done.
  • Sudzee and Laundry Locker are two other dry cleaning and laundry delivery services in San Francisco, a lot scrappier than Washio and Rinse.
  • Finally, Prim was an on-demand laundry startup in San Francisco, but the company has since folded.

In short, there are more than enough entrepreneurs attempting to own the on-demand laundry space, but it’s unclear whether there’s room for all of them or which will win out. I’ve reached out to Rinse to hear exactly how they plan to compete with Washio and the scrappier services, but haven’t heard back yet.

One interesting differentiator is that Rinse depends on regular “W-2” employees instead of independent contractors, which is the norm for most on-demand companies, from Uber to Handy. The company bills this as its way of providing a higher quality of service.

“Rinse is solving a chronic pain point,” said Ajay Prakash, co­founder and CEO of Rinse, in a prepared statement. “You always need to take care of your clothes, and the best way to make that a seamless process is through a predictable schedule, amazing service, and a dedication to quality.”

Rinse says it will use its new funding to simply expand its service offering and expand to new markets.

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