A ride to the airport, a walk for the dog, a grocery or meal delivery, or a video birthday message…are all just a phone tap away. With over 2.5 million mobile apps, there’s an endless number of products and services available in our pockets and purses.
Origin Ventures has been investing in the Digital Native economy for several years, identifying high-growth software, marketplace, and consumer businesses with unique growth catalysts tied to millennial and Gen Z demographics and their relationship to technology. An emerging theme arising from the COVID era is one we call irrational convenience – a massive shift in consumer behavior to a preference for “at the doorstep”, or “in the mailbox”– including outsourcing mundane, inconvenient, and time-consuming tasks to others in order to have more time for what matters most in life.
The “Top Ten List” for most hated household chores includes eight items related to ‘cleaning’ (e.g., mopping floors, dusting, doing the dishes)…and also includes DOING THE LAUNDRY at #4. We are pleased to announce our investment in Sudshare, the leading nationwide marketplace for peer-to-peer laundry service. Consumers use the app to connect to a local Sudster, who picks up the laundry, washes it at home, and returns it to the customer the next day – clean, fresh, and folded the way you like it. The service costs just $1 per pound.
Apart from the invention of the front-loading washing machine (1950) and Tide pods (2012), little has been done to disrupt the efficiency of this universal household chore. “There’s been no real innovation in laundry since the washer and dryer was invented almost a century ago,” says Mort Fertel, co-founder and CEO of SudShare. “SudShare was started because of one comment my wife made in 2017, home with five kids and buried in laundry. She said, ‘I can tap an app and get to the airport, Facetime someone on the other side of the world, but I’m still doing laundry like my grandmother.’”
SudShare gives customers back their most precious resource: time. In the U.S, 125 million households produce 50 pounds of laundry every week. The Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that the average household spends at least eight hours a month doing laundry. If laundry was a full time job – how many laborers would be required to do all of it? 6 million people working the standard 2,000 hours a year!
SudShare is another investment for Origin Ventures focused on the gig economy, following investments in Grubhub, Veho, and Fountain. A key difference between SudShare and many other gig platforms is the ability for the labor side of the marketplace to work from home. This opportunity expands the pool of gig workers to include stay-at-home parents, remote workers, and students. Sudshare has reached tens of thousands of Sudsters already. Top-ranked Sudsters are able to make as much as $70,000 a year. As gas prices have risen – driving workers away from platforms such as DoorDash, Lyft and Uber – being a Sudster is a very attractive alternative for the 59 million American gig workers.
Origin Ventures is pleased to announce participation in a $10m financing for SudShare, which also includes investments from Headline, Starting Line, Ludlow Ventures, and Clean Ventures as well as notable angel investors including Steven Galanis (Cameo), Max Mullen (Instacart), Joanna Riley (Censia), and Rob Chesnut (x-AirBNB). SudShare is available in over 400 markets nationwide, and will use this raise to expand to 100 more cities. Origin Ventures is excited to help Sudshare fulfill its revolutionary vision of creating more time for consumers and more opportunities for gig workers.