Service-Oriented Start-Up Washio Shuts Down

Shan Li reported in today’s Los Angeles Times that, “On-demand laundry and dry cleaning app Washio announced Monday it is shutting down, becoming the latest service-oriented start-up to wash out.

“The Santa Monica company expanded quickly to six cities after its launch in 2013, attracting time-crunched customers who wanted their laundry picked up, washed and delivered within 24 hours. Despite raising nearly $17 million in funding, the three founders wrote on the Washio website that they had been forced to close its doors.”

Today’s article explained that, “Several on-demand start-ups, which seek to deliver products or services at the tap of a button, have folded or struggled recently. In 2014, rival laundry start-up Prim called it quits. Last year, home cleaning service Homejoy shut down after facing lawsuits alleging its workers should be considered employees, rather than independent contractors…[A]nalysts said it can be extremely difficult for on-demand services to make money and hard to maintain high quality. Washio was charging $2.19 a pound for washing and folding clothing, along with a $5.99 delivery fee.”

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