Founded in 2013 by British expat Edward Hamilton, Barcelona startup Lavalocker is boldly disrupting the laundry and dry cleaning business. Hamilton formerly worked as a business coach and was a member of the two-time national champion crew team at the University of California, Berkeley.
Lavalocker allows you to drop off your clothes in secure lockers, which are spread throughout the city in multiple locations. Locker locations include apartment buildings, shops and dedicated locker centers. The lockers are opened using a private code and are accessible 24 hours a day, seven days a week. This provides greater convenience than a regular laundromat where you may need to wait in line and are restricted by limited opening hours.
Within 48 hours of dropping off your laundry, it is returned fresh, clean and ready to be picked up from the locker. For those that do not live near a locker location, Lavalocker provides a service that picks up and delivers your laundry. Lavalocker’s mobile app (available for both iOS and Android) allows you to order pickups and drop-offs and enables you to stay updated on the status of your laundry. Everything can be done using your smartphone – from adding preferences for specific items and checking the progress of the wash cycle to paying online. Costs are reduced using Lavalockers high-tech model and they pass on savings to customers with competitive pricing.
On challenges the startup has faced since launching, CEO and founder Edward Hamilton said:
The biggest challenge is managing the speed of growth. If you push too hard you can risk burning your cash and if you go too slow you may miss out on first-mover opportunities.
On his vision for the future of Lavalocker:
We are just launching our new smart locker solution – Mayordomo, Butler Box. The Mayordomo lockers are a portal for any pick-ups and deliveries not just dry-cleaning and laundry but they now include online deliveries. We are installing these lockers in large office and apartment buildings on a national level.
For entrepreneurs inspired to create a startup in Spain, he advises:
Is very possible if you have a good team and idea. The investors need to see your vision and how they can make money but having the additional cash fire-power helps the business get through the difficult early years.