Mr. Jeff: how does the "UBER of laundry" work? that already operates in Argentina under the franchise system
The digital economy advances without pause and leaves no sector to be transformed. Just as in 2018 the delivery services became popular - like Rappi and Glovo - this year promises the arrival of other international companies that seek to digitize the daily tasks of the Argentines.
One of them is Mr. Jeff, a Spanish startup that started its foray into the local market in November and already offers an application to streamline an everyday task: washing clothes.
Through the app, users can directly request laundry service, leave a bag with dirty clothes to a delivery man and receive clean clothes at 48 hours at home. Everything, without leaving home.
"Argentina is a country that has a lot of traction, it has an important use of apps and the penetration of delivery is higher than in other countries in the region and Spain, it is a perfect market to launch," explains Eloi Gómez Cal, CEO of the signature, to iProUP.
In fact, the company already has 25 points in Argentina, mostly in the city of Buenos Aires. But it will be opening throughout the country and not just in the big cities, according to the entrepreneur.
How does it work
Users who wish to use the service in the areas where it is available can access one of the four Netflix-style subscription models it offers.
For example, the "Plan S" - the most economical - costs 880 pesos per month and includes the washing of four bags of clothing.
The "Plan XL" - the most expensive - has a value of 3,440 pesos per month and, in addition to the eight bags, it includes the ironing of 48 garments.
In all cases, the operation is carried out completely through the application. And the user delivers and receives his order at the address indicated.
Outside of the subscription, you can also hire specific services. For example, each bag costs $ 250, when the average in Buenos Aires laundries is $ 150 per load.
It is also possible to wash one set of sheets for $ 300 or iron one piece for $ 45. Dry cleaning of a bag or cap is achieved for $ 290.
"There are two systems: the service is requested several days a week or it is paid for specific orders, users have the possibility to use it daily, but if they go through a store that is open they can also do it", Gómez Cal assures iProUP.
With regard to payment, it can be done with both a credit card and cash, as the idea is to reach the unbanked population, which reaches 52% in Argentina, above the 47% average in the region.
Like other apps-based services, Mr. Jeff does not have his own stores. However, it proposes a more "traditional" model for service providers: franchises.
"We offer our technology and processes, we look for people who support us by setting up their shops", explains Eloi Gómez Cal to iProUP.
For the election of the candidates, the CEO of Mr. Jeff indicates: "We are looking for people who are committed and who learn fast, of course, they have to have the money from the initial investment to be able to set up the store".
In this case, the franchisee must have not only trade, but must pay $ 709,000 for Mr. Jeff to condition the property and also install the laundry machinery.
In addition, the company offers training, both for the franchisee and its employees, so they can carry out the business efficiently.
"We apply a training process for all of them, after the interview with the applicant, it lasts three days, but then there is a continuing education program," he adds.
The franchisee must also have a vehicle to carry out the reception and delivery of the bags at the customer's home. You can use a motorcycle, car or van, according to the traffic of the place where the store is located, according to the CEO of Mr. Jeff.
"The distribution is in charge of the franchisee because it is the best way to ensure quality, and in addition to being responsible for washing and delivery, it is much more sustainable," says Gómez Cal.
Beyond the initial investment, the owners of the premises must pay a flat monthly fee to operate under the brand Mr. Jeff and receive orders from the users of the application.
"Being a fixed fee, all the profit is for him, we do not have a revenue sharing model (revenue division)," remarks the businessman, referring to the Uber or Rappi style applications.
To be part of Mr. Jeff's network, the interested party must upload their information to the page, attend an interview -presencial or online- and disburse the initial investment.
"We do not work with existing laundries, but with those that start from scratch", highlights Gómez Cal, who adds that the profile they seek is that of enterprising people and eager to learn a new business.
The company was founded in Valencia, Spain, four years ago by Eloi Gómez, Adrián Lorenzo and Rubén Muñoz, three entrepreneurs under 25 years of age.
Then it expanded to Madrid and Barcelona. In 2017 it arrived in Mexico and in 2018 it began to expand towards Argentina, Colombia, Mexico, Peru, Chile and Brazil.
In Rio de Janeiro, Mr. Jeff acquired Lava é Leva in August, the largest laundry franchise in Brazil with more than 350 points of sale, which strengthened its position in the region.
The firm expects to have some 200 laundries in Argentina before the end of the year. In addition to the city of Buenos Aires, there are scheduled openings in Mendoza, Rosario, Mar del Plata and Córdoba.
This year, he received $ 12 million in an investment round of Series A, led by All Iron Ventures to leverage its international expansion.
These funds are added to the US $ 3.5 million contributed by European entrepreneurs such as Albert Armengol (CEO of Doctoralia), Jeroen Merchiers (Managing Director of Airbnb Europe, Middle East and Africa) and Kim Jung (CEO NX Corp).
Currently, it has operations in seven countries, but expects to reach another 30 markets in the short term. It has more than 150 direct employees and more than 2,400 indirect employees.