A startup that is bringing medical-grade laundry technology capable of killing the Covid-19 coronavirus on clothes to mass use has received £1.4m in seed funding.
Oxwash, which was founded by former NASA engineer Kyle Grant, uses ozone generation technology, which is normally used in hospital and spaceship sterilisation, and describes its technology as “space-age”.
Its service, which is available for both regular washing and dry cleaning, sees clothes collected on-demand via no-contact pickups, before being transported on electric cargo bikes fitted with portable ozone generators that can sterilise the garments. The laundry bags used by Oxwash are also dissolvable, further preventing the transmission of the coronavirus.
The startup, which is currently operating in Oxford and Cambridge in the UK, is available for both businesses and individuals. At present, the Oxwash is using its service to provide laundry services for NHS organisations, including GP surgeries and hospitals, as well as care homes.
The funding will be used to expand its service into London this year, as the startup has seen interest in its laundry service climb notably amid the coronavirus.
“We’ve developed a service in the last two months that is available to provide coronavirus disinfection,” said Kyle Grant, CEO and co-founder of Oxwash.
“Our original goal for the business remains to help the planet – originally focussing on the eco-friendly nature of our tech compared to traditional laundry options. However, in recent weeks it’s become apparent that our help is needed in keeping people safe.
“In light of the current coronavirus situation, we are working closely with NHS and vulnerable groups to provide support when needed as well as doubling down on our software development, including our app, and rolling out the service to London later this year while continuing to focus on our original locations – Oxford and Cambridge.”
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The funding round has seen Oxwash draw support from a number of high-profile investors, including Twitter co-founder Biz Stone, Indeed.com founder Paul Forster, TrueSight Ventures and Founders Factory.
“Our world is in unknown territory and people are turning to tech for options to improve their lives,” said Stone of the investment.
“Oxwash is using revolutionary technology that can be utilised to prevent viral transmission on textiles during this period and give people reassurance about their safety and those of their loved ones.”
“We have been impressed by Oxwash’s ambition to build the world’s best laundry, dry cleaning and ironing service and its use of space-age technology to achieve this,” added Igor Tikhturov, founding partner of TrueSight Ventures.
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“With the team’s brilliant engineering minds working on new ways to adapt the traditional laundry market they are finding ways to make easy and convenient access to medical grade laundry services that have zero carbon emissions and save water at the same time.”