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Fitbit, Lyft investors back this AI-powered dry cleaning robot with $8M funding

Image credits: Presso

At a time when brands and consumers alike are more climate-conscious, an AI-Robotics company, Presso, that automates the garment cleaning services has secured $8M in a seed funding round.

Various investors included several Silicon Valley-based VCs, including Fitbit-early investor Uncork Capital (who also backed Front, the female-founded SaaS unicorn), 1517 Fund, Lyft-early investor – AME Cloud Ventures, HAX, Pathbreaker Ventures, VSC Ventures, Taiwanese VC Cherubic Ventures, and SOSV, and YETI Capital. 

Additional investors who participated included Buckhead America Hospitality and TISHMAN. The latest round brings the total funding of the Atlanta-based startup to $10.1M. Further, Presso will use the new funds to expand its team and scale products. 

“There is nothing like Presso on the market today. We’ve created the first AI-powered line of on-demand, low-carbon, express garment care machines,” said Nishant Jain, Co-Founder, and CEO of Presso. “Our mission is to make on-demand clothing care accessible to everyone, and we’re proud to do it in a more sustainable way.” 

Image credits: Presso

AI-powered dry-cleaning robots

Presso was co-founded by Nishant Jian and Thibault Corens in 2018, who studied and met at Purdue University. The company has created low-carbon express garment care machines, leveraging the latest technology to make laundry easier. 

Using its patented Stretch AI, Chemistry, and Tech engineering, Presso has created a climate-conscious garment care system that takes a garment from dirty and wrinkled to fresh ones in a short amount of time, enabling hotel owners and managers to save time, electricity bills, and labour costs.

In addition to being 360X faster than traditional solutions, the company claims its machines save 7X water and 3X electricity, so clothing care today has a 93% lower carbon footprint. Currently, Presso employs around 15 people out of that 40% are female. 

“We’re incredibly excited to back the work of Nishant and Thibault, who have achieved a lot more than your typical seed-stage startup. By helping hotels profit from garment cleansing, Presso is supporting the post-pandemic economic recovery of the hospitality sector,” said Jeff Clavier, Managing Partner of Uncork Capital. “While battling labor shortages, Presso provides a perk that draws valuable clientele and promotes increased loyalty without diverting labor resources from other guest services. The Presso mission to introduce a new standard of garment care is a very exciting use case for us at Uncork.”

“Before we had a Presso, a guest would need to find the garment care bag in their closet, call down to the front desk, and the concierge would fill out a paper slip with the number of items, pick them up from the guest’s room, and send it out for delivery. In two or three days, the guest could have their items back. At one point, we couldn’t even offer the service because it was too resource-intensive – guests wanted it, but we couldn’t provide it. Presso condenses all those steps on-site,” said Dipan Patel, CEO of Buckhead America Hospitality Group.

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