Jabong's co-founders invest $2M in convenience brand Wassup
Chennai-based Laundry Project India Pvt Ltd, which owns and operates on-demand convenience player Wassup has raised $2 million in a pre-Series A round of funding from Arun Chandra Mohan and Praveen Sinha, co-founders of Rocket Internet-incubated lifestyle e-tailer Jabong.com.
Wassup offers services like laundry, dry cleaning as well as shoes and bag refurbishment. It is currently operating in Delhi and Bangalore besides Chennai. It plans to expand to Pune and Cochin in a month.
Following the fundraise, the company is planning to additionally raise $10-15 million in its Series A round of funding in six months and is in discussions with investors like Tiger Global, Sequoia Capital and Matrix Partners, co-founder Durga Das told Techcircle.in.
The startup was founded in June 2011 by Durga Das and Balachandar. Das is a serial entrepreneur with over 20 years of experience in Silicon Valley. Balachandar has 14 years of experience in marketing and management. He also headed the retail practice for Hidesign.
Wassup has 30 pickup points where garments can be dropped off by the customers. It plans to add 30 more such points in six months. It claims to have a customer base of 50,000 and plans to grow to 1 million customers in three years.
"We are looking to service the daily laundry requirements of middle class Indian consumers which are currently addressed by maid servants or by self wash. The potential to move unorganised offline business to organised online convenience is huge. We are seeing a good opportunity and want to be the market leaders in the segment in India. We will be adding more convenience services such as pet care, personal care, home care in the near future," said Balachandar.
The on-demand convenience industry globally is estimated at $9 billion, said the company without quoting the source. The laundry market is estimated to be valued at Rs 200,000 crore annually of which 95 per cent is unorganised, it added.
In February, Sinha had invested in Anasha Art, an online art gallery founded by his wife Shayal Taunk.
Jabong, which had earlier held talks to sell the business to Amazon, is now part of a new holding firm Global Fashion Group (GFG), which also houses four other online fashion e-commerce startups backed by tech incubator cum investor Rocket Internet and Swedish investment firm Investment AB Kinnevik.
Apart from Jabong, GFG houses Dafiti (Latin America), Lamoda (Russia and CIS), Namshi (Middle East) and Zalora (South East Asia and Australia) covering 27 countries in total.
Jabong is one of the two top lifestyle e-tailers in India, along with Myntra. Myntra was acquired by Flipkart last year.