The dry cleaning market in France has not changed for decades. Perchlorethylene – a carcinogen which will be prohibited from 2022 onwards – is still predominantly used in 600 Paris laundromats, to the detriment of consumers.
Lavoir Moderne, a Parisian company launched in 2014, is setting out to change the dry cleaning market with a more eco-friendly and economical offering, including home delivery in just 30 minutes. To ensure a high level of service while keeping costs and rates low, Lavoir Moderne uses robotics, artificial intelligence, and state-of-the-art traceability technologies.
The startup is now raising €5 million from private investors, and preparing to raise another €20 million by the end of 2019.
Traditional laundry services tend to be expensive – not to mention impractical, as the consumer must drop off his garments and then return to collect them. Lavoir Moderne offers an alternative, laundering all types of linen and delivering within 30 minutes throughout Paris, all through a simple click via its app. The startup is making accessible what was until now a luxury service with its low prices: €2.50 for a kilo of linen (vs. €7 on average in Paris), or €1.50 for a shirt (vs. €4 on average in Paris), with delivery included.
“Whatever the economic or political context, people will continue to iron their shirts. Offering this service twice as cheap as the market, with more service and better margins is our main asset,” commented the co-founders Alphadio Olory-Togbé and Pierre-Henri Canonne.
The ongoing fundraising will enable the startup to break even at the end of the year, after opening a new plant in March, and starting construction on another scheduled to open in 2020. The new plants will allow Lavoir Moderne to extend its service to the Parisian suburbs before expanding into the largest European capitals – in coming years Lavoir Moderne plans to expand internationally into London and Berlin.