Wassup raises funding from Jabong promoters Arun Chandra Mohan and Praveen Sinha. Wassup has raised $2 million in a pre Series A round of funding the PE investors. The company is entering laundry market estimated to be valued at Rs. 200,000 crores annually, 95% of it falls under unorganized sector and global estimates put the figures at $9 billion.
Wassup is brand name of Chennai based Laundry Project India P Ltd owns and runs on demand laundry services. The company offers services like laundry, dry cleaning, and shoe and bag refurbishment. The prices are affordable and Wassup provides free home pickup and delivery services too. The company 30 pickup points called Aggregating Hubs where the clothes will be dropped by the customer.
To service the customers, Wassup has professionally setup with state of the art machinery and skilled fabric experts ensure hygiene and care of the garments. Wassup provide services in Bengaluru, Delhi and Chennai and planning to expand their services to Pune and Kochi.
Wassup has started a unique program called Dhobi Partnership Program, their motto is to integrate the Dhobi community into their system and make them streamlined. The company offers modernization of their shops with the facelift. Make dhobi’s as their collection agents and providing them social identity. Wassup provide insurance of Rs. 100,000 for each of their partner dhobi. Apart from they offer scholarships for school going children of dhobi’s and they provide counselling sessions for alcohol de addiction. The company also assist dhobi in expanding their operations through micro finance.
The company was founded in 2011 by Balachandar R and Durga Das. Balachandar R is Chief Executive Officer of Wassup. He is Bachelor of Commerce graduate from Madras University in 1999. Balachandar had various diploma like French language specialization, Foreign Trade, Export Management to name a few. In 2000 he did Master’s Programme in International Business at PSG Institute in collaboration with Indian Institute of Foreign Trade, New Delhi.
He started his career as a Trainee in Tata International in February 2001. He worked on market research and business development to launch ‘Donna Elena’ an Italian Luxury leather accessories brand in India with joint venture with Tata Group. Balachandar had a brief stint with the company for 10 months. In March 2002 he joined Paharpur Industries Ltd as Manager – Key accounts and exports. He successfully handled key accounts like Unilever and Pepsi simultaneously. He worked with the company for 13 months.
In March 2003, Balachandar R became Head of Retail business in Hidesign. He was responsible for targets and operations along with service deliverable across all business channels. He expanded the brand in several Asian markets including Mid East, Sri Lanka and Malaysia.
In Hidesign he expanded retail presence of the company stores from 12 to 38 stores and 25 point of sales to 125+ points of sales. These contributed to the growth of Hidesign from Rs. 150 million to Rs. 500 million. He managed a team of 6 regional heads and 85 sales staff in India.
He worked with Hidesign till July 2006; in August 2009 he became Partner and Marketing Head of Trilogy Retail. He conceptualised and co founded the retail brand Lime & Vodka.
Lime & Vodka brand targets youth segment in fashion apparels and accessories. They have loyal customer base of 2,000 people with presence of 2 stores in Chennai. He moved out of the company after selling his stakes to partners.
Apart from this he was Director of Business Development of HSIPL. He was responsible for the addition of Indian and International brands like Van Heusen, Indigo Nation, Indian Terrain, Massimo Dutti, Zara, Fornarina, Color Plus etc., into the portfolio. He has donned several hats ranging from entrepreneurial and professional capacities.
Durga Das is the Co founder and Managing Director of Wassup. She graduated from Stella Maris College in Bachelor of Fine Arts in 1990. Durga is one of the leading lady in entrepreneur world. She became director of Indigo Technologies in 1994 and led the company till April 1998. Indigo was acquired by NASDAQ and SSI.
In April 2000, she became Director of Channel Sales in NetScaler, where she started as business development and moved to become to head channel sales. She worked in the company till April 2003 and subsequently it was acquired by CITRIX in 2006.
In April 2004, Durga became President of IC Infotech where she set up an IT services company from scratch with 100 people and made it profitable. She moved out of the company in May 2005 and founded PayPod Inc; the company was into multichannel, multi format ad network. Durga was Chief Operating Officer of the company and worked till December 2007. PayPod was acquired by MediaMorphosis in 2008.
In May 2008 Durga co founded vMobo Inc, the company is into interactive direct marketing. She was Senior Vice President of Marketing and Business Development. She moved out of the company in March 2012.
She is director to several other companies Answerz Digital, Supra Energy and SideFX Entertainment and list grows. Durga has specialised in early stage startup with creation, management, business development, marketing and sales.
Wassup aims to be a giant in daily laundry sector by adding 30 hubs in next six months, plans to spread in 100 cities with customer base of 10 lakhs in next 3 years. To fulfil that dream they have raised a total of $20.5 million as seed funding and venture funding from the promoters of Jabong.
“We are looking to service the daily laundry requirements of middle class Indian consumers which is currently being addressed by a maid servant or by self-wash. The potential to move unorganized offline business to organized online convenience is huge. We are seeing a good opportunity and want to be the market leaders in the segment in India,” said Balachandar on the occasion of funding.
As per the deal Jabong promoters will join the board of Wassup. The company is planning several services like personal care, home care, car care, pet care and handyman services to its portfolio shortly. Customers will be serviced on demand with the help of comprehensive managed platform.
Wassup has released an app in Google Play and iOS environment to address the mobile customers, considered to be a good move.