One of the county’s largest multi-family real estate developers is tapping into the Atlanta high-tech startup ecosystem to attract new tenants.
Alliance Residential has put a custom Presso robot in one of its latest Upper Westside Atlanta properties for all tenants to access five-minute, on-premise dry cleaning services.
Nishant Jain, Presso’s co-founder and CEO, told Hypepotamus that while the team had seen use cases for their machines in multi-family properties before, they had not worked with any partner on the scale of Alliance, which operates units across the Metro Atlanta area and the larger Southeast.
“[Alliance] took a leap of faith on us and even changed the building plans to enable this to happen,” Jain said. “They are pioneering this technology into the multi-family space. I think that is huge for the industry.”
It is also a huge growth signal for Presso itself as a company. “It’s a common narrative in the startup world that you have to create a 10x improvement to the status quo to get the kind of growth that you need. But we are in a very rare position where we are able to create a 360x improvement. The last time something like this happened was when the Internet and smartphones took businesses online,” added Jain.
That 360x improvement comes from being able to adapt their robotic technology into something consumer-facing. To date, Presso machines have been used by trained back-of-house staff at hotels, on film sets, or in the basement of Atlanta Tech Village.
“This is the first time Presso is in a public space,” Jain told Hypepotamus. “We had to make sure we optimized the interface to convey all the information to help a complete stranger understand what the machine does and how to work it without any help. Making this self-service was the biggest challenge but also the biggest win for us this year.”
The building is still new and not at full occupancy just yet. But Jain estimates that once the building is full, the Presso machine will be used on average 350 times each month for specific dry cleaning needs. That will make it the most popular amenity on site, far elapsing the use of the gym, Jain said.
It has quickly won fans within the apartment community as well. Akshay Gangavalli, a current resident, said: “I’m really amazed. Glad my apartment has this. It’s soo helpful. Great work! Would invest if I could.”
To build out the new consumer-facing interface, the team hired its first Head of UX Design, integrated instructional videos and audio prompts into the machine, and added the ability to pay for each dry cleaned garment from your phone. The team only has to go on-site every few months to refill cleaning liquid as they’ve avoided any hardware or vandalism issues.
This has quickly become a go-to amenity for residents in the building and has allowed Alliance to “set a new standard for best-in-class amenities and differentiate themselves in the multi-family space,” Jain added.
“The team at Presso has approached this venture as a partnership since day one and has taken an active role in developing the design strategy as well as details of the space. The machine itself is such a unique, yet practical, amenity for our residents providing “around-the-clock” access without having to leave the property,” Michael J. Grill, Development Manager for Alliance Residential Company, told Hypepotamus. “Alliance Residential is proud to be the first multifamily development in the Atlanta area to feature on-demand dry cleaning service and we look forward to working with Presso on more projects in the future.”
This on-premise integration is a big step forward for the Atlanta-based startup on a mission to bring a personal, more sustainable dry cleaning experience into every home. That vision for the “future of on-demand clothing care” helps Presso stand out against others in the laundry and dry cleaning-technology space.
“All the companies before us are working on just pick up and drop off services,” added Jain. “The only innovation to happen was on the logistics side. This is the first time we’ve actually fundamentally upgraded the base technology. We no longer have to ship clothes anywhere and it is a lot more eco-friendly because it reduces the carbon footprint of every garment by 93%. Within a year, we will be at 99%.”