Faridabad-based integrated laundry services providing startup UClean announced its partnership with US-based ChemDry to enter the home services segment. The company plans to open 100 franchisee run ChemDry stores by 2020.
As a part of the strategic partnership, UClean will identify and operate 100 franchisees under its master franchisee rights across Tier 1 and Tier 2 cities in India offering a range of home services such as carpet, upholstery cleaning and more across Indian households.
Belfor Holdings-acquired ChemDry is an upholstery and indoor cleaning brand and has over 4000 franchisees across more than 3K locations worldwide including Europe, North America, Africa, Middle East, Pacific Rim and South America.
Founded in November 2016 by Arunabh Sinha, UClean operates a network of over 130 laundry stores across 38 cities in India. UClean’s primary focus has been on the younger audience who might enjoy the self-service model. The startup offers its customers an option to wash their clothes at their nearest UClean outlet, according to their convenience.
It claims to have over 500K users availing its services every year. The company claims that most of these customers are repeat users who come to UClean at least once a month.
The partnership will entail UClean identifying strategic locations for franchisees, onboarding partners for the franchisees, training the staff at the franchisees and also leading marketing initiatives for ChemDry brand.
Arunabh Sinha, founder and CEO, UClean, said, “ChemDry brings with it the expertise of scalable indoor and home cleaning services while UClean’s understands the Indian market market very well in terms of retail expertise and tech enabled cleaning solutions.”
Based on the franchise model, UClean has till date raised more than $1.5 Mn funding across two rounds. The company had recently announced its foray into Southeast Asia by the end of 2019. UClean had set its sights on Thailand where it planned to open more than 10 franchisee led stores by December of 2019.
UClean piloted its international expansion earlier this year with signing franchisees in Bangladesh and Nepal. In August, the company acquired Delhi-based White Tiger laundry in a majority equity buyout. As a part of the acquisition, UClean will acquire White Tiger’s 20 stores in Delhi NCR. UClean will also onboard the entire staff, franchisee partners and existing infrastructure of White Tiger.
UClean with ChemDry will be competing against Tiger Global-backed soonicorn UrbanClap which has been enabling on-demand home services solutions. UrbanClap offers services such as beauty and spa at home, appliance repair, plumbing, carpentry, cleaning, and painting.
As per reports, the Indian laundry industry is estimated at $34 Bn (INR 2.2 Lakh Cr), of which the unorganised market (dhobis, maidservants, and mom-and-pop stores) is valued at $771 Mn (INR 5,000 Cr).
The sector is fragmented with over 767K establishments, 98% of which are micro-sized laundries. The organised segment comprises a mere 2-3% of the entire laundry market in India. Home services and especially indoor cleaning is expected to grow in double digits by 2022.