Tech-enabled laundry services are not the norm in Ivory Coast, but a startup called Easy2toofacil has seen strong early uptake of its on-demand solution.
Founded in June 2018, Easy2toofacil allows users to arrange dry cleaning, laundry, ironing, retouching and shoemaking services by phone, WhatsApp, Messenger or mobile app.
All services are completed within 48 hours, with Easy2toofacil also facilitating pickup and drop-off of laundry. Rebecca Affoh, the startup’s founder and chief executive officer (CEO), said the idea for launching the startup came from a simple observation.
“Going to the dry cleaners or shoemakers is essential, but sometimes constraining. It is not easy to free yourself during the week to drop off your clothes, as the opening hours of the shops are not adapted to office hours,” she said.
Easy2toofacil solves this problem, offering monthly subscriptions to its services. Affoh said it is competing against industrial dry cleaners, laundries, and luxury concierges, but had advantages in its cost and ease of use.
“Easy is better than anyone because we come to you, and our costs are very affordable. We also take pride in our eco-responsible approach. We replace traditional cleaning by wet cleaning, a process that uses eco products and less water,” she said.
Initial uptake of the platform has been slow and steady in a market unused to these kinds of solutions, but the startup already has hundreds of users, some of which are businesses like hotels, spas and restaurants. Easy2toofacil raised seed funding of CFA10 million (US$17,000) in March of last year, and Affoh thinks it is well-placed to corner what is a sizeable market.
“There are more than 10 million households in Abidjan, which spend CFA4,000 (US$7) on average per week on laundry – an estimated market size of CFA21 billion FCFA (US$36.1 million). We target both individuals and businesses, and make money by charging for the cost of the service and of the delivery. We also offer monthly subscriptions,” she said.