Oxwash, a green tech startup from Oxford, has just raised €590k in equity investment and secured 320 new investors through crowdfunding platform Crowdcube, in only 15 hours. This follows a capital increase of €2.46 million in June 2021 by the fast-growing company.
Investors such as Biz Stone (Twitter co-founder) and Future Positive Capital (behind Pinterest and Beyond Meat), are backing the sustainable on-demand laundry service offered by Oxwash. The startup, founded in 2018 by ex-NASA scientist and Forbes Europe’s 30 under 30 alumni, Dr Kyle Grant and Oxford engineer Tom de Wilton, has the vision to achieve net-zero carbon emissions for the whole laundry process – from collection, through to washing, back to delivery.
Oxwash CEO, Dr Kyle Grant, said: “Our goal was to build a wide network of shareholders who care about our purpose as much as we do and can be true ambassadors for the brand, which is why we capped the investment level at £5,000 per person. To witness £100k pledged in just three hours, and be able to close the round in fifteen, we’re over the moon with the outcome and level of support. We know being just another laundry app won’t cut it. Developing a model that is hyper local, carbon neutral and tech enabled – that reverses the sector’s adverse impact on the planet rather than adding to it is absolutely critical”.
With space-age technology, the young company uses water-saving ozone technology to sanitise fabrics at low temperatures, achieving a higher than medical-grade disinfection, biodegradable detergents, and eclectic cargo bikes to achieve sustainable washing and hyper-local zero-emission logistic footprint. Killing bacteria with a three-stage approach: ozone sanitisation, chemical sterilisation and thermal decontamination, the eco-friendly firm’s laundry processes reduce 99.99999% of infections
The global green cleaning market is set to reach a value of €10 billion by 2029 as our global society becomes more and more aware of the environmental damage that laundry can have. The UK industrial laundry sector processes approximately 743,651 tonnes of laundry a year alone. Just the water requirement alone uses the volume of Lake Windermere (360 billion litres) to clean our clothes at home.
Global laundry usage is estimated to release 14,000 tons of microfibres into the oceans each year – meaning a third of all plastic in the ocean is coming from clothes. The pioneering company utilises microfiber filtration technology to remove more than 95% of fibres shed during washing, preventing plastic pollution from reaching waterways and drinking water.
In April 2021, a strategic partnership was announced by Oxwash with Reckitt’s heritage clothes care brand, Vanish. The ‘Oxwash, powered by Vanish’ partnership will mean that the laundry service will use the new Vanish sustainable formula in its washing facilities.
Since the beginning of the pandemic, the on-demand laundry service has grown more than tenfold. The firm now has more than 8000 individual customers, alongside clients such as the Marriott Hotel Group, Hurr Collective and the NHS. With no-contact delivery and scientifically proven high level of disinfection, Oxwash was chosen to sterilize items used during the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine trial, as well as supporting the NHS front line.
The new funds raised will be used to expand the service geographically by adding more 100% electric vans to the fleet, as well as continuing to engineer best-in-class software and technology. This is all part of the plan to ensure that the sustainably-minded company reaches its net-zero goals, and to further enhance fulfilment processes linked to the growing circular fashion economy.