Stories by JONAH NWOKPOKU
Nigeria’s tech entrepreneur, Femi Taiwo has said that his new start-up firm, Washist.com has invested $50, 000, about N8 million to provide laundry services through the internet.
He also disclosed that Nigeria’s singer and entertainer, Lanre Dabiri, LD contributed part of the seed investment for the start-up.
Launched in Lagos last week, Taiwo, a tech entrepreneur who co-founded one of Nigeria’s most successful online real estate businesses, Privateproperty.com.ng, sold to a South African online real estate firm recently, said Wahist.com was inspired by the need to help professionals who are constrained by their job to attend to their sartorial needs. Speaking to Vanguard, Taiwo said with N10, 000, customers within Lagos Mainland and Island could have as many of their dirty clothes attended to and returned in three days and for three times within one month.
According to him, the business model involves a N10, 000 flat monthly subscriptions. The customer registers online and supplies his/her details so that Washist agents could come and pick up the clothing and deliver it back in three days.
“WASHIST.COM is simple to use. You just fill in your details which will include name, address, phone number and email, and a Washist will contact you to schedule a pickup of your laundry. Also, you’ll receive email and SMS notifications from Washist on the status of your clothes from pickup to final delivery,” he said.
He also noted that, “A laundry bag is provided on your first pick-up.
There is no extra charge for pick-up and delivery of your items,” adding that, “the “major challenge faced by most busy professionals is the quality of service offered by their regular laundry service providers. The team has therefore put up its own style with own washing instructions and its trained personnel to ensure clothes are long lasting, looking crisp and smelling fresh.”
Speaking further Taiwo said it is innovation like washist that would continue to drive e-commerce in Nigeria even as the sector has continued to attract foreign direct investment valued at about $50 billion within the past two years.
According to him, convenience coupled with entrepreneurs’ drive to expand market share, reduce cost and increase revenue will continue to play prominent role in the growth of e-commerce in the country. He however decried that poor level of awareness on the benefits of turning to online businesses to meet basic needs and lack of trust inspired by increasing wave of fraudulent activities online has continued to impede the growth of the sector.