The delivery man in the bright-blue fleece rings the intercom at a home in the Richmond district of San Francisco. "It's James from Rinse," he says when the homeowner's voice crackles through the speaker. With that, the entryway light goes on, the door opens, and the occupant arrives to retrieve the bag of laundry that Rinse had picked up, in a considerably dirtier state, a couple of days earlier. James scans the QR code on the bag with his phone, and hoofs it back toward his Prius to head to the next stop. The customer couldn't have known that he had just been handed a sack of cleaned-to-order laundry by one of the nation's most exquisitely educated delivery guys. James Joun has degrees from Dartmouth and Harvard Business School. He also doesn't do this much anymore, since he's the co-founder and COO of Rinse, a rapidly growing laundry and dry-cleaning startup that is trying to become the first nationally scaled company in what has always been a very local business. This Joun knows intimately: His Korean immigrant parents have run a dry-cleaning shop in South San Francisco for more than 25 years.
Rinse raises $14M in Series B funding to bring its laundry pick-up nationwide
Rinse, the San Francisco-based dry cleaning and laundry delivery service, has closed a $14M Series B round of funding. This comes after a $6M Series A last year, meaning the startup has now raised about $23.5M in three rounds. The round is being led by Partech Ventures, with participation from existing investors including Javelin Ventures, Arena Ventures, Accelerator Ventures, and Structure Capital. Rinse was started in 2013, at the height of the on-demand boom. At the time companies like Washio (which is now shut down) offered to pick up your dry cleaning within an hour and return it the next day. But Rinse had a different model. Sticking to the belief that no one really needed their dry cleaning picked up within an hour, Rinse focused on nightly pickups between 8-10pm with standard return times (unless you wanted to pay extra for faster service).
VIDEO: Rinse CEO Ajay Prakash On Stage with Jeff Lawson at Twilio's SIGNAL Developer Conference
Rinse raises $6 million to expand its laundry pick-up and delivery service
Rinse Inc. has raised a $6 million Series A round of venture funding to pick up and clean anything in its customers’ closets. According to Chief Executive Ajay Prakash, who cofounded Rinse in 2013 with Chief Operating Officer James Joun, “We never wanted to b Uber for laundry, and don’t consider ourselves an on-demand business.”