Laundrapp is “Uber for laundry”. Launced in 2014, customers arrange to have their dry cleaning & laundry collected, cleaned, ironed and returned, all through the app, removing the drudge and hassle of doing it yourself. From relatively small beginnings, Laundrapp has grown hugely. It is now in 100 cities and towns around the UK, 40 staff at its London headquarters and a fleet of more than 200 drivers across its own fleet and partner fleets and a nationwide network of laundry businesses. In early 2017, it unveiled plans for international expansion, with a target of signing 15 countries by the end of the year.
Just under half of Laundrapp’s £11m of external funding has come from SEIS & EIS (aprox £4.7m) and, says Relf, “Without SEIS & EIS providing essential funding at an early stage we probably wouldn’t be where we are today. We might not even be here at all!”
“At the most critical stages of our growth and development, SEIS & EIS money has been there to get us through them and onto the next phase. SEIS funding enabled us to get past the proof of concept and minimum viable product test. Once we got there, EIS funding rounds helped us to take the next steps to scale the business up, to build out the key technology components of Laundrapp, to market it and expand the service across the country.
For a lot of businesses, ours included, these schemes are absolutely vital, and I can’t overstate that. It can be tough because once you’ve done the friends and family thing, it’s often very difficult to find investors who are willing to back you in the early stages. The venture capital money comes at a much later stage, so there’s this huge funding gap at the point you need your first significant external sums of capital and that’s where, fortunately, SEIS & EIS usually comes in