On-demand laundry service Washport launches in NW Philly, Main Line

The service reminds us of the bike-focused Wash Cycle Laundry, though founder Raoul Bocchi says his direct competitors are laundry services like FlyCleaners and Washio.

On-demand laundry service Washport launched in Northwest Philadelphia and the Main Line last month. It’s the first region the service covers.

The Washport model is a lot like that of Philly-based Wash Cycle Laundry, except Washport is focusing on “more affluent suburbs” rather than neighborhoods all over the city. Also, Washport drives your laundry around, instead of biking it, like Wash Cycle.

Users can text or call to schedule a laundry pickup. Washport then sends the load to a commercial facility, cleans it and delivers it to your doorstep. The company says it shows its dedication to sustainability by doing things like recycling wire hangers and using fuel-efficient vans.

Since its target market is more affluent neighborhoods, it makes sense that Washport’s prices are just a few cents above Wash Cycle’s, at $1.39 a pound. The company’s minimum load is significantly higher than Wash Cycle’s: Wash Cycle requires a minimum of 10 lbs., while Washport requires 25 lbs. Washport also offers premium services, like washing and ironing sheets.

raoul bocchi

Raoul Bocchi is the founder of Washport. (Photo courtesy of Raoul Bocchi)

Founder Raoul Bocchi moved his family from London to Moorestown, N.J., to launch Washport in the Philly region. Bocchi previously worked in investment management.

Why move?

“The sheer size of the opportunity if you get it right in the US makes it an almost no brainer to give it a shot here as opposed to Europe,” Bocchi wrote in an email.

He added: “Secondly, at least in my perception, getting a business off the ground from a regulatory perspective is a lot easier here than in Europe.”

Bocchi, 40, considers his competitors venture-backed startups like FlyCleaners and Washio, and said the Philly region was a good place to launch because those services hadn’t made it here yet.

Bocchi, who self-financed the business with his wife, is moving to Brooklyn to launch Washport there, he said, but he’ll return to Philly to “look after the market.” He recently hired his first full-time employee, a driver.

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