BigBasket co-founder Abhinay Choudhari has exited the grocery service provider and is planning to enter the online laundry business, a business daily said in a report.
A majority stake in the online grocery seller was acquired by the Tata Group in May. When the deal was through, Choudhari had announced that he would be stepping down and exiting the management team of the company. In his farewell message to BigBasket staff, Choudhari had said that he wanted to build one more business from scratch.
As per a Business Standard report, Chaudhari will now enter the online laundry market and help in solving another equally painful chore of numerous Indian families other than grocery shopping. His new team includes Raghavendra Joshi (CIO), Tripat Preet Singh (CFO), Uday Vijayan (CMO), SM Abbas (CPO), and P Singh (COO).
A total seed capital of $2 million has already been pumped into the company by the founders. They are also engaging in advanced-level talks with investors to bring in $25-30 million in Series A funding.
The online laundry segment in India had peaked during 2014-16 but eventually lost steam with companies failing to scale up their operations. In 2016, Chaudhari too had invested in a laundry business, which was asset-heavy in nature and is still running.
As per Choudhari, several laundry start-ups couldn’t survive long in the market because they drew inspiration from Uber and Airbnb. Like those companies, they adopted a business model which focused on being asset-light and had an app-aggregator model, while their backend remained the same and irregular.
Choudhari said that their model is asset-heavy and the entire end-to-end process will be under their control. He also said that when the backend is in control, the costs of processing and delivery operations could be bought down to disruptive levels. If one is not in control of the backend, their unit economics will never work out, added Choudhari.
Currently, the founders are setting up their first centre in Bengaluru. As per Chaudhari, it would be the biggest laundry facility in India and would process around 45,000 clothes per day. The laundry is expected to offer affordability with a swift turnaround time of 24 hours.
(Edited by : Ajay Vaishnav)