Laundrapp has only celebrated its second birthday this year, but it is already experiencing a growth spurt more commonly seen in teenagers.
The app, which allows users to get their clothes picked up, washed and delivered, has been downloaded more than 250,000 times and currently covers over 100 towns and cities across the UK. It recently launched in Australia and New Zealand, and there are plans to expand to 15 international markets over the next 24 months.
The business has Ed Relf at the helm, who reluctantly considers himself a marketer – but only “if you had to pigeonhole him”. Even though he started his career as a programmer, he soon moved into marketing and was the CMO at Mind Candy, the gaming company behind Moshi Monsters, for four years.
He is also a keen investor in startups, and decided to start his own after visiting a few of his local dry cleaners and discovering they all charged him different prices. On further investigation, he found out most businesses outsource the dry cleaning to larger facilities and saw an opportunity to go “direct to the source”, thereby creating the premise of Laundrapp.
It was, in his mind, a “natural next step” for his career. And he believes the business acumen he developed during his time as a marketer has helped him out.
“I believe that marketers make the best entrepreneurs. Particularly these days, most businesses are much more marketing driven. It’s only natural that marketers make great CEOs and entrepreneurs; they tend to work with every part of the business, be great sales people, understand customers and work closely with technology,” he tells Marketing Week.
Building trust without brick-and-mortar stores
When it comes to building the business, Relf says the brand has faced multiple obstacles, including recruitment issues, creating a culture of innovation and having the right logistics in place. By far the biggest challenge, however, has been “building trust and changing consumer habits”.