Laundry startup UClean gets a fresh load of money

Laundry startup UClean gets a fresh load of money
27 Feb, 2018

Gurugram-based UConcepts Solutions LLP, which owns tech-enabled laundry service provider UClean, has raised $1 million (Rs 6.5 crore) from franchise and retail services provider Franchise India Holdings Ltd.

US-based angel investor Anubhav Chopra also invested in this round, UClean said in a statement.

The startup had raised an undisclosed amount of seed funding from Franchise India in late 2016.

UClean said it will use the fresh capital funds to launch Mint Clean, an on-demand home cleaning services provider.

“We would be building Mint Clean through the franchise route and would be targeting 100 franchises by 2020,” founder Arunabh Sinha said.

Sinha, an IIT Bombay graduate, started UClean in 2016. He previously headed the north India operations for budget hotel chain Treebo Hotels.

Franchise India has invested in only a handful of startups. In 2016, it participated in Ahmedabad-based specialty tea startup The Kettlery’s seed funding round.

The same year, it had invested $3 million in Kolkata-based Savetur Digital Pvt. Ltd, which runs logistics app TYGR, in a pre-Series A round of funding.

Laundry startups
Several laundry startups have elicited interest from investors over the past couple of years. This also resulted in several acquisitions and mergers.

In March last year, New Delhi-based PML Solutions Pvt. Ltd, which runs on-demand dry cleaning and laundry services provider PickMyLaundry, acquired subscription-based laundry and dry cleaning startup OneClickWash. PickMyLaundry had raised $200,000 in a pre-Series A round in late 2016 while Gurugram-based OneClickWash had raised seed funding from Unitus Seed Fund in March 2016.

In April last year, Chennai-based laundry startup Wassup bought VC-backed DoorMint. A year before, it had acquiredHyderabad’s Ezeewash.

Pune-based HelloDhobi and Jaipur’s Urban Dhobi Services Pvt. Ltd were among the other startups that secured funding in 2016.

On the flip side, many startups closed operations as raising follow-on funding became increasingly difficult. Amazon-backed Housejoy’s chief executive had told VCCircle in 2016 that laundry was a tough business to make profits.

Delhi-based Tooler reportedly shut down in February 2016 while UrbanClap halted its laundry services a month later and Bengaluru’s Flashdoor stopped operations in May 2016.