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Shoppers Stop non-executive chairman invests in Chennai-based laundry startup Wassup

Company raised $2 million from HNIs and plans to raise another $10 million from VCs

BS Reporter  |  Chennai 

Wassup, an on-demand laundry and dry-cleaning service, has raised $2 million (Rs 12.9 crore) from high networth individuals, including B S Nagesh, non-executive vice-chairman of Shoppers Stop, and former Barclays India chief executive Mani Subramanian, co-founder said. They have come in during pre-Series A fund-raising. The firm now plans to raise $10 million from venture capital funds.

Wassup's co-founder told Business Standard that other HNIs are T Anil Jain, chairman and managing director of Refex Industries Ltd, Ranga Iyer, former MD of pharma major Wyeth India and Arun Chandra Mohan and Praveen Sinha, founders of Jabongg.

Balachandar said the company is betting big on both online and offline mediums, while the Jabong founders can help the company on the technology front.

He added Wassup will be rolling out several initiatives in the coming months including tying up with apparel and fashion brands to offer after sales maintenance and others.

Wassup is now gearing up to raise another $10 million from VCs to support its three-year plan. The company is planning to expand to 25 cities from the current five cities, through organic and inorganic routes.

Each of the cities will have around 10 stores taking the total number of stores to 250-300 stores across the country from the current 30 stores across Bangalore, Delhi, Chennai, Cochin and Pune.

"The brand vision is to be in 100 cities in the next 3 years. Wassup has processed 34 million garments so far and this number is growing month on month," claimed Balachandar.

He added, the company has clocked Rs 5 crore in 2014-15 and set a target of Rs 20 crore.
 

The laundry market in India is estimated to be valued at Rs 2,00,000 crore annually out of which 95 per cent is unorganised.

Nagesh commented that: "Wassup can have impact on the people at the bottom of the pyramid in the laundry business c and this aspect is very close to my heart and is aligned to what we are trying to do. I like the energy of the founders and their value system. When the purpose of the business and the founders are aligned it becomes very easy for businesses to create value for its stakeholders. I am looking forward to my relationship with Bala, Durga and Wassup as an advisor and a mentor to the business."

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