Smart Laundry for a Modern World: Laundry technology through mobile app.
Washlava is a branded, self-service laundry platform with patent-pending mobile technology at its core. Enabled by technology and enhanced by branding, we’re positioned to revolutionize the deeply-fragmented self-service laundry industry through a disruptive, technology-driven consolidation strategy.
Highly Differentiated Business Model
Our proprietary technology provides a smartphone-enabled, end-to-end process and vastly improves the customer experience, delivering unprecedented convenience, control, and support to both customers and owners via a native smartphone application. App features include the ability to locate stores and reserve machines, pay for and activate equipment on a mobile device, and remotely interact with store personnel. Best of all, our solution is low cost and highly scalable.
Washlava was recently featured on ABC Action News:
Large Market Opportunity
In the U.S., households do more than 300 loads of laundry per year, totaling 24 billion pounds of dirty clothes — that’s 2X the weight of all the Egyptian pyramids combined! And 19 million of those families — 1 out of every 6 U.S. households — rely on shared self-service laundry facilities found in apartments, dorms, and laundromats.
Americans spend more than $6 billion a year on self-service laundry, with the average pay laundry user spending $40 a month to wash their clothes, usually, one quarter at a time. That’s 160 quarters a month!
More than 26,000 laundromats dot the American landscape — that’s double the number of Starbucks in the U.S — and 98 percent of these locations are owned by single-store operators. In addition, there are another 3.5 million pay washers and dryers at work in college dorms, apartment buildings, and hotels.
In a world well-served by technology, the pay laundry industry has been forgotten. In a world dominated by brands, this industry has none.
As we move closer to a cashless society and become ever more dependent on our mobile phones, consumers’ tolerance for doing things the way they’ve always been done is fading quickly. People want everyday services to keep up with the pace of innovation that’s available at their fingertips. Like pay phones and parking meters, the era of searching the sofa for change to wash your whites is over.
In 2014, our CEO Todd, along with his mother and sister, bought a rundown laundromat on the outskirts of Tampa, Florida. Shortly after they took ownership, the store was robbed. Knowing it was a cash business — more than 80% of laundromats are exclusively coin operated — thieves ripped the change machines from the wall, took what cash they could carry and left 60 pounds of quarters strewn on the floor.
Prior to the break-in, Todd was already questioning why quarters were still the main currency for the laundry industry. Standing in the quarter-strewn parking lot of his newly owned and robbed laundromat and then at his phone, he thought “There has to already be an app for this or at least something a bit more modern.” There wasn’t.
Applying what he learned when founding his previous mobile technology company, Silvercar, he set out to bring the laundry industry into the modern world.
A single, unified pay laundry network connecting customers to facilities and store managers via their mobile devices, with one brand, and an enhanced user experience.
Washlava is the solution both consumers and business owners alike have been waiting for.
Meet Ben and Mary.
Ben is a junior at USF. He rents an off-campus apartment with three of his best friends. While he loves living with his buddies, Ben’s apartment doesn’t have a washer/dryer. He is one of 7 million Americans who does their laundry at a laundromat every week or so.
Ben hates doing his laundry. How is it that when he finally finds a place to go and gets all his laundry in one place, he forgets the quarters? Or, worse, he manages to arrive at the EXACT same time as the rest of his apartment building, leaving him with no available machines! Before Washlava, Ben often deemed laundry as too burdensome and time intensive. He would skip the task for a month and wear the same smelly, stained shirt everyday. Coincidentally, Ben has lost a few girlfriends in the past year leaving him lonely and sad.
But just a few weeks ago, a Washlava opened up a block from Ben’s apartment! Now Ben doesn’t have to wear stinky clothes! Laundry has become less of a chore and more of a seamless, easy, and convenient task. Ben can’t envision doing laundry WITHOUT Washlava anymore. He is eager to try new offerings and services to continually improve the experience.
Mary owns a small, coin laundromat in a college town that she purchased three years ago as a way to supplement her income and save for retirement. Mary has lost sleep on countless nights over her laundromat. She likes the healthy 30% margins, but spends all her time pulling quarters, going to the bank, and manually tracking her business performance.
Since her business is cash-based, it’s difficult to get loans for the business. She wants to get off quarters and has looked at laundry card systems, but customers don’t like them, and credit card systems take a long time to generate ROI. To top it all off, nothing about her business is automated; she struggles with how to market to her customers (she doesn’t even know how many customers she has!), doesn’t know how to drive additional revenue to her business, and never knows when machines are broken. She wants to open another location, but running the one she has is harder than she thought, so she is considering selling the store and just getting out of the business all together.
Just as Mary was about to give up, she heard about Washlava and how they help laundromat owners optimize their revenue, attract more customers, and earn more profit. The benefits spoke to her: no more wasting time pulling quarters or making trips to the bank; easily change cycle prices or add additional service offerings; instant, real time snapshot of the business; and confidence knowing customers are coming back.
Mary decides to make the leap and partner with Washlava. We provide her with a micro-financed loan and lease her updated equipment that results in greatly increased profits, peace of mind, and the ability to concentrate on improving her customers experience even more. With Washlava, Mary earns more and sleeps better than ever!
We are partnering with two established laundry groups to beta test our platform in Q3 2016 within a college dormitory, and build a rapid prototype location in Tampa, Florida. We’ll then begin scaling nationwide with Austin, Texas being our first full-scale market in Q2 2017.
Make sure to request access to the business plan tab of this profile for an inside look into Washlava!
Todd Belveal, Founder & CEO
Todd’s prior experience includes the successful funding and launch of mobile-enabled car rental startup, Silvercar, of which he is a Co-Founder. Silvercar, established in Austin in early 2012, operates a business model based on offering one type of vehicle and enabling customers to book and complete the rentals, even unlocking the cars, with a smartphone. Before Silvercar, Todd held leadership positions at Accenture, Kurt Salmon Associates, and Tiffany & Co and holds an MBA from New York University.
Bill Barbino, COO
Bill’s prior experience includes an extensive background in commercial lending and equipment credit underwriting, raising more than $1 billion in the securitization market for middle market companies during his 25 year banking career. More recently, Bill graduated from the Startup Institute’s Technical Marketing program at 1871 in Chicago, and was a faculty member at Lewis University’s Graduate School of Management. Bill has an MBA from New York University.
Tom Connolly, CSO
Tom’s prior experience includes consolidating the logistics industry as a founding member of XPO Logistics, Inc. (NYSE:XPO). As SVP, Acquisitions, Tom oversaw 17 acquisitions, growing XPO from $177 million in revenue and $10 million of EBITDA, to $15 billion in revenue and $1.2 billion of EBITDA. Previously, Tom spent 10 years in investment banking, focusing on debt and equity financing and mergers and acquisitions, and 5 years in venture capital, funding early stage technology companies. Tom has an MBA from Emory University.
Jamie Sewell, CMO
Jamie’s prior experience includes overseeing the marketing and communications for the Coin Laundry Association (CLA) as the director of marketing and online development. In this role, she also consulted with hundreds of laundry owners across the country and spoke on digital marketing topics at the 2013 and 2015 Clean Show. Prior to the CLA, Jamie held marketing and sales positions at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business, Touch International, and Dell Computers.
Dexter Weiss, CTO
Dexter’s prior experience includes founding and running Peppered Software, a digital product agency. At Peppered, he helped startups and fortune 500 companies design, build, and deploy technology. He has worked on projects for companies like AT&T, Dell, Fox, Whole Foods Market, and Silvercar, and his designs have been featured by Apple.