Staff Writer Ahmed Budalama talks to Ayman Gaballah, the fresh prince of Laverie.
Tell your mother to take a break, pull out your white Nike shoes and meet Laverie; an on-demand laundry platform facilitating doorstep pick-up and delivery of clothes in major areas of Cairo, Egypt.
Laverie was established in September 2018, when founders Ayman Gaballah and Mohab Aloush decided to tap the home-service market in Egypt to adress the on-going demand for a tech-based solution across the industries. This is how it works: Laverie boosts the process of picking up dirty clothes from a user’s doorstep, getting them cleaned according to the user’s given preferences, and delivering them back to customer’s doorstep with an impressive turnaround time of just 48 hours. Just as Uber has millions of cabs associated with it without owning a single one, Laverie does the same without owning a single laundry establishment. Instead, Laverie, which literally means 'laundromat' in French, has gathered and maintained several partnerships with local laundries who wash and dry clean clothes for them.
“Our approach is a bit challenging as we are building a bridge between and non tech industry (the traditional laundries) and the current hype of using mobile applications in our daily activities which made our lives much easier, maintaining the thin line between convenience and complexity,” Founder Ayman Gaballah tells Startup Scene.
Additionally, the pursuit of a solution to bridge the gap between the level of laundry service startups in the region and provide a higher level that works in the favour of the customer’s expectation has been the main focus since they’ve started.
Laverie launched initially in the Fifth Settlement, and then went on and expanded to cover the entire New Cairo. Few months later, Laverie operations team succeeded to expand more inside gated communities to serve AlRehab, Madinaty and AlShorouk cities.
Beside covering the so-called ‘posh areas’, Laverie is continuously expanding in new zones throughout Cairo. While this whole operation is growing, Laverie team is planning to move forward to cover more ground inside Cairo and serve Sheikh Zayed City, 6thof October City and Al Maadi within the next couple of months.
“It won’t stop right there! Laverie is taking solid steps with prospect investors to expand regionally to foreign markets in the GCC; which will be announced soon!” adds Ghaballah.
To avoid major issues that may affect the operations workflow and overall customer experience and ensure a successful and satisfactory process, Laverie also connects with third-party delivery agents, or ‘Ninjas’ as they’d like to call them. Each agent is equipped with a back-end mobile application that allows them to accept orders based on their geo-location, and placed in a pre-defined area within their working hours.
Moreover, Laverie also places a smart-tag on each package to decrease the possibility of a wrong item delivery and allows for the customer to track the item through their app. As more people are still maintaining the traditional method of laundry, this newly-established digital approach has been facing issues with market acceptance, but that never stopped anyone.
“The way Laverie works has not just given citizens a quick and easy way to get their clothes cleaned, but the ease by which the whole business can be managed efficiently has motivated many entrepreneurs to launch on demand laundry platforms in different geographical areas,” says Gaballah.
Laverie is working on several collaterals to improve in terms of technology with an emphasis on enhancing location-based technologies and implementing Artificial Intelligence (AI) technologies that could be beneficial for all. Laverie is keeping track of all new technologies that may help in optimizing the operations and routes management. On the other hand, Laverie’s team which consists of a total of wight people across all possible departments, is building a complex algorithm to avail a self-assessment tool in their platform, which customers can use to spot the type, severity and predict the mean-time to handle an item.
For designer and luxury brands and clothes which obviously need to be given the special treatment, and the market’s current lack of a trusted and accredited laundry service provider, Laverie aims to provide a ‘super-quality’ service to ensure customers are confident that whatever garments or fabrics will be treated properly.
“With the increase of the cloth and brands prices, it became more valuable to the customer and this also raised the gap between the customer desire for fashionable and elegant outfits and the worry of taking care of his cloths. For example: you can’t wear a white shoe in Egypt, you will enjoy it for the first time only,” says Gaballah.
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