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‘Uber of laundry’: Online laundry store Mr Jeff to open 32 stores in Kenya

You are already aware of the Uber services right? But perhaps you are yet to hear of a laundry store that operates more or less like the taxi hailing app Uber.

Yes you read that right. Mr Jeff, a Spanish startup, is bringing its online laundry store services to Kenya, whereby a customer will order for laundry services from the comfort of their mobile phone, just like you order an Uber taxi.

Through the mobile application, users can directly request and access laundry services, leave their dirty clothes in a bag to a delivery man and they in turn receive clean clothes within 48 hours without leaving their homes.

Mr Jeff is expected to launch its first laundry shop in Kenya in December as part of its global expansion plans.

Nairobi News reporter Thomas Matiko sat down with Julio Suero, Mr Jeff Head of Expansion for Africa, Asia, Europe and Middle East, to get a clearer perspective on the app service that is taking the world by storm.

Q: Why did you pick the name Mr Jeff for the Startup?

Suero: It’s a funny one. The owners are three friends from Spain; Chief Executive Officer Eloi Gomez, Chief Technology Officer Adrian Lorenzo and Chief Operating Officer Ruben Munoz who started several companies together while still at University.

They were always pressed for time to do their laundry because of several business engagements they had as well as studies. That’s how they came up with an idea of starting a digital company that would offer laundry services by the press of a button. They coined the name Mr Jeff from Jeffrey, who is your personal bottler and will do everything for you.

Q: So what are Mr Jeff plans for the Kenyan market?

Suero: In every country we have expanded our reach, we start at the Capital and in this case it’s Nairobi. But we have also mapped out other cities in the country to see how many Mr Jeff we can set up. Mombasa and other major cities will be next but first we want to concentrate on Nairobi then it will be easier to expand to other cities. Clients’ demand for our services will also dictate how we set up the Mr Jeff shops.

Q: From your mapping in Kenya how many points will you set up?

Suero: We have a limited number of 32 laundry shops, it’s a big territory and we don’t want to over sell. We also don’t want Mr Jeff to compete against each other so it’s a number we have already worked out on to see how we will distribute the laundry shops across and evenly.

Q: So what type of clients are you targeting in Kenya?

Suero: We really don’t have a specific target of clients. Our target is everyone who needs to do laundry but of course there are some sectors interested than others. The 25 to 45 year old persons who are usually users of any online app like Uber and Glovo are more of our target. But also to the traditional persons we got them covered that’s why we have the physical stores.

Q: What will be your local pricing for these services?

Suero: We have subscriptions and single orders. For the subscribers, they will receive discounted prices for their laundry which will be about Sh4,000 per month for a maximum bag of 10 kilograms of laundry. We also have the smallest package of Sh2,500 for half the capacity. For a single order it will be a bit higher in price.

Q: How has the experience been in other countries where you have launched the service?

Suero: It’s bigger in Spain where we started before moving to Mexico and Brazil. In Mexico we have 350 hubs, Brazil has more than 500. In 2018 we launched in every part of Latin America. 2019 we started launching in Asia in countries like Philippines, Indonesia, Thailand then we travelled to Africa, with Kenya being the first in the continent then South Africa, Egypt and Morocco.

Q: Do you think this will work in Kenya?

Suero: For sure it will because right now we keep expanding and we are the major players in Africa. Our expansion is very fast, two or three weeks ago we were targeting only 20 stores in Nairobi.