Nigeria’s Safi.ng plans nationwide on-demand laundry service

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The Lagos-based Safi.ng is planning to take its on-demand dry cleaning and laundry service nationwide, and eventually into other African cities.

Launched in January, Safi.ng enables customers to request laundry and dry cleaning services at their convenience via web browser or its mobile app.

It offers free pickup and delivery, and owns a dry cleaning factory in Lagos. It is currently in the process of shortlisting partner dry cleaning companies that meet its quality and progress standards to further expand its business.

Co-founder Gbenga Odegbami told Disrupt Africa Safi.ng currently has 700 registered users and 300 monthly users, but is acquiring between 80 and 100 new users per month. The startup raised angel funding last year but is seeking further investment to accelerate its growth.

“Our plan is to operate in every metropolitan city in Africa. We are presently in Lagos with plans to expand to Abuja and other viable cities around the continent,” he said.

“As part of our expansion plans, we intend to roll-out our technology platform across cities in Africa with our partners in order to reduce the cost of dry cleaning as well as offer quality service.”

According to Odegbami, Accra, Luanda, Nairobi, Abidjan and Johannesburg are the startup’s primary targets for expansion. He believes there is potential for great traction given the outlandish amount of money higher-income earners pay for dry cleaning and laundry.

“In a metropolitan city like Lagos, middle class households and above spend about US$200 monthly to enjoy quality dry cleaning and laundry. Even at this rate, they have to either visit the outlet or send a representative to the outlet,” he said.

“We aim to revolutionise the market by providing quality dry cleaning and laundry for less than US$100 per month, with the added benefit of convenience and quicker turnaround time. We save our customers money and time, every time.”

There are a number of similar services around the continent, but Odegbami says Safi.ng’s major competitor in Nigeria is the washing machine in people’s homes. The startup has focused on direct sales, referrals, word of mouth and experiments with Google Adwords and selected digital screens for marketing, though would expand that with access to further funding.

“All our acquired customers have been through organic growth from referrals and word of mouth. This was harder than we thought when developing the platform,” Odegbami said.

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Passionate about the vibrant tech startups scene in Africa, Tom can usually be found sniffing out the continent's most exciting new companies and entrepreneurs, funding rounds and any other developments within the growing ecosystem.

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