“People have warmed up to the idea of doing less and less actually on their own,” entrepreneur Jay Winters told Betabeat over the phone yesterday, citing the popularity of FreshDirect and Seamless. “We saw just a hugely inefficient market in New York when it comes to laundry.” Mr. Winters is one of two former Goldman Sachs engineers behind Brinkmat, an online ordering service for laundry pickup and delivery.
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Brinkmat coordinates time-crunched customers with laundromats that already offer pickup and delivery. The service has a few dozen stores right now and it’s hyperlocal to the Upper East Side and the Financial District, with some offerings in the West Village. It’s best when you have a critical mass of stores in one neighborhood, Mr. Winters said, so they compete on price and there’s always an option to fit your schedule. “A lot of people have issues communicating with their laundromat owners and stuff like that,” Mr. Winters said. “It’s a natural place for technology to fit in the middle.” Brinkmat provides some on-the-fly Google translation when needed.
Brinkmat signs up laundry services and asks for their turnaround time and delivery radius. The site prompts customers to enter their address and find which laundromats offer pickup and delivery, scheduling times, reviews and specials; then lets them schedule and pay online. Brinkmat will work in dense cities, Mr. Winters said, “any place where people end up walking a lot with your huge laundry bag… that’s just not nececssary and shouldn’t happen.”