Hypepotamus has been covering 2ULaundry since its days in the Techstars Atlanta 2017 cohort, throughout its early-stage fundraising efforts, and during its first steps into the world of franchising after the pandemic.
This week marks the start of the next chapter for the Charlotte-based startup looking to change the way we wash our clothes. 2ULaundry just announced the closing of its $20 million Series B.
Lead investor Atlanta-based Level 5 Capital Partners (L5) is a strategic partner for the startup looking to bring its LaundroLab experiences to more people. L5’s investing thesis focused on “consumer service brands with the potential to change lives and become cornerstones of consumers’ routines,” according to its website.
Its portfolio includes brands that already have a strong presence in the Southeast, including CorePower Yoga, OrangeTheory Fitness, Restore, KidStrong, and the skincare company Heyday.
Chris Kenny, Founder and Managing Partner of L5 Capital Partners, wrote that “as the market for community and habit-based businesses continues to grow in this post-lockdown world, L5 Capital Partners stands at the forefront of this exciting time for brick and mortar businesses…2ULaundry is a perfect example of the innovative, people-focused businesses we align with, and we are excited to witness their continued growth.”
2ULaundry said the Series B will go towards growing both its subscription-based pickup laundry services as well as its franchise location efforts. Those franchises, called LaundroLabs, are currently open in Tampa, Charleston, Charlotte, Atlanta, Austin, and San Antonio.
Getting to know the LaundroLab
The concept of the LaundroLab was born in 2020 as a brick-and-mortar counterpart to laundry and dry-cleaning pick-up services offered by 2ULaundry. Between the two sides of the business, 2ULaundry’s customers range from busy moms needing to outsource weekly laundry to families searching for a more convenient washer and dryer option.
Now, these are far from the concept of a coin-operated corner laundromat that you might be familiar with. LaundroLabs provides an elevated, tech-savvy solution for families in need of a third-party laundry solution in their neighborhood.
We asked co-founder and CEO Alex Smereczniak how the LaundroLab concept has been since it officially launched in the spring of 2021. He said the physical locations have quickly transformed their surrounding communities.
“The impact our stores have had on the communities and families that live near the store has been humbling. Each month we provide free books to families and their children to take home through Scholastic and we’re happy to say they fly off the shelves each month. The stores have become more than just a laundromat, they have become a community gathering place,” said Smereczniak.
On the franchising partner side of the business, Smereczniak added that he’s been impressed with the quality of people who have joined in on 2ULaundry’s mission to “make laundry happy.”
Smereczniak told Hypepotamus that franchise partners bring “in-depth operational experience” from places like McDonalds and PlanetFitness.
In terms of what’s next? Well, the team has put out the ambitious goal to build up to 350 hires and to open up 25 new stories in the next 12 months.