AUSTIN, Texas — Austin-based Press, an on-demand laundry and dry cleaning startup, raised $500,000 in seed funding. Investors involved in the round include Rob Taylor, Jonathan Coon (Founder of 1-800-Contacts), Chuck Gordon and Mario Feghali (Co-Founders of SpareFoot), William Fitzpatrick (President & CEO of Loop1), RSH Ventures, and Mike Bennett.
The company will use the funding to expand its service footprint deeper into its current service areas, while also expanding into a few new cities through the end of the year. “We’ve found that people really value their free time, and laundry is one of the first chores that can easily be eliminated,” says Ryan Harmon, co-founder and CEO of Press. “The average person can spend up to eight and a half hours per month hassling with laundry, and that’s time you don’t have to waste.”
Press was founded in 2015, and served only the Austin area until their acceptance into the Capital Factory accelerator program in January 2017. Since then, the company has expanded into six new cities, including Dallas, Fort Worth, San Antonio, Houston, Oklahoma City and Chicago. Harmon stated, “Our model allows us to expand quickly and efficiently, and the funding will allow us to ensure we continue to provide the quality of service customers demand.”
Skipping the trip to the local dry cleaner or laundromat is extremely easy with the company’s on-demand service, and a lot of times it’s up to 40% cheaper than walking into your local dry cleaner. The company is able to pull this off by eliminating the need for a walk-in drop off location and optimizing routes to be more efficient. Pick ups and deliveries can be scheduled from 6am to 8pm, so there is plenty of flexibility for those with a busy lifestyle. Additionally, customers don’t have to be home for a pickup or delivery since scheduling and payment is done online through the web and mobile apps. “Your life is busy enough, so we want to make sure that we work with your schedule, not against,” says Harmon.
Unlike some of the other players in the space, Press uses local dry cleaners and laundromats to handle all of the order fulfillment. “A big perk about our service is the fact that your clothes aren’t being exchanged between several hands,” Harmon says. “The people that pick up and deliver your clothes are the same people that are cleaning them, and that means less friction and a better customer experience.”