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On-Demand Laundry Service Washio Abruptly Ceases Operations

Three-year-old startup was serving six major cities at time

SANTA MONICA, Calif. — On Aug. 29, the on-demand laundry and drycleaning services startup Washio announced via its website that it was ceasing operations immediately.

In a letter titled The Last Cookie posted on the company’s home page, Washio co-founders Jordan Metzner, Juan Dulanto and Bob Wall explained that no more orders would be accepted and that outstanding orders would be returned promptly to customers.

Washio was serving the cities of Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles, Oakland, San Francisco and Washington, D.C., when it was shuttered.

Customers could place an order through the Washio website or via its mobile app; a so-called “ninja” would pick up the garments (delivering a cookie at the same time), take them to a facility to be laundered, then return them within 24 hours.

Washio charged $2.15 per pound, with a $30 order minimum, for wash-and-fold service.

“We generated millions in revenue and hundreds of thousands of orders, but the nature of startups is being innovative and venturing into uncharted territory: sometimes you make it, sometimes you don’t,” the trio wrote. “We are proud of what we accomplished along the way: over one million items of clothing dry cleaned, and over 21,000 tons of laundry washed and folded!”

Washio is reported to have raised $16.82 million in four rounds of equity funding between January 2013 and June 2014. Actor Ashton Kutcher and recording artist Nas were among the investors.

Washio was talking to competitors about acquiring the company when the closure was announced, according to TechCrunch.

“We are not alone in believing in Washio’s core business, technology and team, and hope it lives on in some shape or form in the future,” the Washio co-founders wrote in their letter. “But, that story has yet to be told...”

RELATED STORY: The Future of On-Demand Laundry Services (Conclusion), Feb. 9

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