Oxwash, a UK service applying advanced sterilisation technology to everyday laundry, has secured a £1.4 million investment from TrueSight Ventures, Twitter’s Biz Stone, founder of Indeed.com Paul Forster, Founders Factory and other angels. In the last two months, the startup has adapted its service and partnered with the NHS to help front-line medical workers and at-risk communities during the coronavirus pandemic.
A product of Oxford University and part of Founders Factory’s accelerator programme, the company was founded by a former NASA engineer. The washing technology combines ozone disinfection, typically used in spaceships and hospitals, with thermal and chemical processes to remove any bacterial, fungal, and viral agents. The result is “medical-grade laundry services that have zero carbon emissions and save water at the same time,” says Igor Tikhturov from TrueSight Ventures.
“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,” says Kyle Grant, the startup’s CEO and co-founder, and also a recent pick for Forbes Europe 30 Under 30. “However, in recent weeks it’s become apparent that our help is needed in keeping people safe.”
Already partnering with business customers like Marriott and Airbnb, the company has added a new course of action in light of COVID-19. Services now include no-contact pickups, the use of electric-cargo bikes adapted with portable ozone generators to sterilise items, and even dissolvable laundry bags to reduce coronavirus transmission through fabric and clothing. So far the service reaches NHS
The startup has begun working with NHS and local groups, providing laundry services to senior care homes, to hotels housing medical workers, and to the Oxford University coronavirus vaccine trial as well as general practice surgeries.
In addition to these coronavirus efforts, Grant says the company will continue “doubling down on our software development, including our app, and rolling out the service to London later this year.” Indeed, a press release states the new investment will be used to grow the team and expand the business’ reach across southeast England.