Washio’s laundry ninjas will be fading back into the shadows after the on-demand dry cleaning startup announced it was shutting down on Tuesday. The company had raised $14 million from investors including celebrities like Ashton Kutcher, but that couldn’t sustain the almost two-year-old company.
The Santa Monica-based startup first arrived in D.C. in January, 2014 the first city away from the West Coast. It was operating in LA, San Francisco, Oakland, Chicago and New York before today. And while the company claimed revenue in the millions of dollars, the vagaries of the startup world ended its ambitions.
“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 company stated in the announcement. “But, that story has yet to be told.”
There’s still Wash Cycle Laundry for on-demand laundry service, but most such startups operate only in New York or San Francisco.
Here’s the full statement from Washio:
Dear Washio Community,
We started Washio some 4 years ago with a simple goal in mind: to clean the world’s clothes. That mission began from our kitchen counter, and led us through an incredible journey over the last few years as we became the nation’s largest dry clean and laundry service. We served our loyal customers in six cities across the country, 7 days a week, morning noon and night, with 24-hour turnaround for clean clothes. A proposition that still, to this day, does not exist in the offline world.
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. 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!
As of Aug 29, Washio will be shutting down its operations. No more orders will be accepted and outstanding orders will be returned promptly to customers.
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. But, that story has yet to be told…
From the bottom of our hearts, we want to thank you for all of your support and belief in Washio, our vision and our love for sharing cookies and clean clothes.
Jordan, Juan and Bob
Additional reporting by Jim Dalke