The FGB Digest brings you the latest news on the world’s fastest growing direct-to-consumer and challenger brands. In today’s edition: Oxwash gets £1.4m seed; The Fund sets sights beyond NYC for second fund; and Expa opens London office to support European startups.
Oxwash gets £1.4m seed
Oxwash, a UK-based laundry startup that’s aiming to disrupt traditional but environmentally costly washing and dry-cleaning processes by using ozone to sterilise fabrics at lower temperatures, along with electric cargo bikes for hyper local pickups and deliveries, has bagged a £1.4m seed.
Prior to this, Oxwash was working with a £300k pre-seed round — which it used to fund building its first washing hubs (which it calls “Lagoons”) and to test its reengineered washing process.
“Washing still has crazy carbon emissions, pollution and collection/delivery services cause large amounts of congestion. We saw a way to re-engineer the laundry process from the ground up and to be the first truly sustainable, space-age laundry company in the world,” says Kyle Grant, discussing the opportunity he and his co-founder spied to rethink laundry.
“We’re developing processes to have zero net carbon emissions for the whole laundry process — from collection to washing and back to delivery.” It’s also structuring business operations to locate washing hubs in city centres, where its customers are based, so it can make use of electric bikes for moving the laundry around.
The Fund sets sights beyond NYC for second fund
“The seed funds in New York have all gone upstream,” founder Jenny Fielding argued, making it harder for founders to get the smaller cheques they need when they’re getting started. So The Fund is aiming to participate in those “first cheque” rounds of between USD$500,000 and USD$1.2m.
To find those investments, the business relies on a “crowdsourced” approach, taking recommendations from the startup founders they’ve recruited as limited partners in The Fund.
The firm is targeting USD$9m for the second fund, with one-third deployed in New York, another third in Los Angeles and the final third in London.
Even though COVID-19 has brought a halt to large sectors of the global and domestic economy, founder Scott Hartley said the firm has continued to write cheques at the same pace.
“We had such conviction in the [founding] teams that it hasn’t really slowed down the cadence of our investing,” he said. “We take a long-term approach with pre-seed investing. We see this as a multi-year journey.”
Expa opens London office to support European startups
Established in 2014 by Uber cofounder Garrett Camp, Expa provides early-stage startups with investment capital, a workspace and access to a network of advisors.
It is a similar model to existing UK-based programmes like Founders Factory – set up by Lastminute.com cofounder Brent Hoberman – and Entrepreneur First, which is somewhat unique in that it pairs off successful applicants after they enter the programme, to start building a business.
Expa currently has offices in San Francisco, Los Angeles, New York and Vancouver, and sees the expansion as an opportunity to provide European startups with its resources from a London office.
Some prominent alumni of Expa include the neo-bank Current, analytics company Metabase and proptech Haus.
“The European startup landscape is quickly growing and is one of the greatest opportunities in the market today,” said Camp, in a statement.
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