Laundryheap, the UK’s largest on-demand laundry and dry-cleaning service, is today announcing that it has acquired its competitor Laundrapp from Inc Retail. Although terms of the deal remain vastly undisclosed, this strategic acquisition will undoubtedly enable the steady expansion of Laundryheap’s market footprint.
Harbottle & Lewis advised on the acquisition which followed a 300% growth experienced by Laundryheap in 2021. With its services available in the UK, Ireland, Netherlands and the UAE, Laundryheap is now the leading global provider of on-demand laundry and dry-cleaning services.
Laundrapp was founded in 2014 by Antony Pink, Dominic Perks, Edward Relf, Jack Mason and Nick Bransby-Williams and backed by Hambro Perks. The company offers an unparalleled level of quality laundry and dry cleaning across the UK as well as pickup and delivery services. Laundrapp’s customers can place their orders via Android/ iOS apps or online through their website.
In 2019, Laundrapp and Berlin-based competitor Zipjet announced a merger unifying the two companies under the Laundrapp brand. Zipjet, also founded in 2014 by Florian Faerber and Lorenzo Franzi is backed by Rocket Internet. The company offers similar services to Laundrapp topping with wash & fold service, Airbnb host laundry service, dress dry cleaning, luxury dry cleaning, shirt service, ironing services and restaurant laundry service, just to mention a few.
Laundrapp and Zipjet have collectively secured over £30M in VC funding, led extensive marketing campaigns across the UK, and acquired a range of competitors. Laundrapp acquired Washbox in 2015 whereas Zipjet acquired Asteria Cleaners in 2016 and Cleanio in 2017. The joint company entered administration in 2020 before being bought out by Inc Retail (part of the Inc & Co Group). Inc Retail is the retail group behind notable brands such as KNOMO London & Chop’d. Laundrapp has since continued to provide services across London and 15 other UK towns or cities.
The Laundryheap umbrella
Also established in 2014 by Deyan Dimitrov, Mayur Bommai, Ruxandra Lica and Sebastian Os, Laundryheap is the world’s largest on-demand laundry and dry-cleaning service, allowing users to have their laundry collected, washed, ironed and returned to them in a guaranteed 24 hours.
The Laundryheap team bootstrapped the business for the first three years, unlike its competitors. This allowed them to refine their model and plot a path to sustainable growth before raising their first VC capital in 2017. Deyan Dmitrov, CEO and Founder of Laundryheap remarked, “In 2014, on-demand laundry and dry-cleaning became a hugely competitive space almost overnight. At Laundryheap, we did our best to keep our heads down and stay out of the fray. Instead, we bootstrapped the business and iterated the model until we were confident that we could scale up the offering in a sustainable way. Only then did we raise a strategic amount of VC investment.”
Laundryheap has raised £7M to date from both VCs and Angel investors. The business has grown to employ a team of 80 people, operating across the UK and 10 additional international markets, including the US, the Netherlands, Singapore, and the UAE. Laundryheap is focused on building out its global footprint and expanding its service offerings for both consumer and B2B markets. This has included brokering key laundry partnerships with firms such as Holiday Inn, Premier Inn, JustEat, UnderTheDoormat, Ibis, and Best Western.
This acquisition will help Laundryheap expand its regional reach across the UK, increase its customer base, and provide access to an augmented network of transport and logistics partners. Furthermore, all Laundrapp employees will be retained and, over the coming months, the Laundrapp brand will be replaced by the Laundryheap brand. Laundrapp customers will benefit from Laundryheap’s 24-hour pick and return service. Users will also receive a more eco-friendly service owing to Laundryheap’s recent £2.5M investment in an additional 200 e-cargo bikes. Laundryheap was named the 18th Fastest Growing Tech Company in the UK by Deloitte 2019 and the 72nd Fastest Growing Company in Europe by the Financal Times 2020.
“This mindful approach is a philosophy we have maintained ever since and over the last 8 years we’ve gone from strength to strength, including launching successfully across a range of international markets. The acquisition of Laundrapp is a testament to the resilience of our model and ongoing demand for high-quality, reliable on-demand laundry services. We’re delighted to be expanding our UK footprint by welcoming Laundrapp customers and partners onto the Laundryheap platform,” added Laundryheap’s CEO Deyan Dmitrov.