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Edward Relf is an award-winning digital entrepreneur and self-confessed ‘digital disruptor’ with almost 20 years’ experience scaling some of the world's most successful disruptive digital startups. Having built a successful career through his metric-driven marketing approach and lean startup philosophy to tech innovation, Ed now focuses his time on his latest venture Laundrapp, mentoring early-stage startups and actively investing in the next wave of disruptive tech-driven companies.
Laundrapp is revolutionising laundry and dry cleaning across the world. Launching in 2014, this award-winning app is servicing customers in over 100 towns and cities across the UK and recently launched in Australia and New Zealand with plans to expand to 15 international markets over the next 24 months. To date, the app has been downloaded over 250,000 times and manages hundreds of drivers and cleaning facilities across the UK.
We interviewed Edward about his business journey on the 16th of August 2017
Could you firstly just explain to us what it is you do?
Hi there, really pleased to join you on this live twitter interview. I'm Ed Relf, I'm the Co-Founder and CEO of Laundrapp.
Can you tell us a little more about Laundrapp - how it works and where it is available?
So Laundrapp is an on-demand laundry and dry cleaning service that is revolutionising the laundry and dry cleaning industry. It's a smart on-demand service for people to outsource their laundry and dry cleaning chores and add convenience to their lives. The service is currently available across more than 100 towns and cities across the UK and rapidly expanding across the world!
What is your business background and what inspired you to start up your company?
I'm a digital entrepreneur. I love creating digital businesses that have the potential to disrupt existing industries and bring convenience and simplicity to people's lives. Laundry is a chore, it's also an industry untouched by digital and ripe for a digital revolution.
What makes your laundry business unique and differentiates you from your competitors?
Good question, firstly we operate nationally across the UK, this is unique to any company in this space. We also decided from the very inception of the business to employ our drivers, quality of service is paramount to us. Also, our international expansion model is very unique in that we license our technology allowing us to expand exponentially.
What type of financial and mentoring support have you received?
Like all entrepreneurs I believe you learn through failure. Fail to prevail if you like. I believe as an entrepreneur you need to get comfortable with being uncomfortable! Mentoring is great but hard work and determination eats "experience" for breakfast.
What have been the biggest challenges in your first year of business?
Without a doubt the biggest challenge is embracing the "power of the pivot". In an early stage in business, you must allow yourself to pivot to find a market fit and not be precious with any early assumptions. Be prepared to fail, learn from your mistakes and improve. 90% of what you do will fail; find and scale the 10%, FAST!
Outside of this, one of the biggest challenges we have is changing consumer habit, laundry habits are engrained. However once you use Laundrapp, it changes everything and you quickly understand the value of a service like this.
What has been the biggest achievement of your business career - anything you're particularly proud of?
Just like uber, deliveroo and Airbnb we are disrupting our respective industries and with it entirely re-wiring consumer behaviour. Personally I'm just as proud of my mistakes as well as any achievements. I rarely reflect as I'm constantly forward thinking.
What does success look like to you?
I have a genuine desire for change. Change is good, it's something I constantly embrace and encourage in those around me. So unfortunately I rarely look back at achievements, achievements are just stepping stones to where you ultimately want to be. One of my favourite quotes, “Everything you've ever wanted to achieve is on the other side of fear". So if I'm not scared, I'm not pushing myself hard enough. It's a common trait that binds all entrepreneurs.
Success implies an end to a journey, I don't worry myself too much with the destination, I like the travelling.
Finally, what does the future hold - any exciting plans we should keep an eye out for?
The focus with Laundrapp is purely scale! We've built an incredible business, one that is truly a great British success story that we're now taking to a global stage. We're proud of what we've achieved in the UK and it's time to take on the world!
For further details on Laundrapp visit www.laundrapp.com
Please note: This interview took place on the MiVentures platform which is owned and managed by Wenta.
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