Hey there, busy moms, overworked young professionals, and sleep-deprived college students, if your growing laundry list of household chores includes, well, loads and loads of laundry, it might be time to come clean. And a new app-based on-demand laundry service in Austin can help sort it all out.
Hampr — a free app for wash-and-fold laundry services that launched in January 2020 in Lafayette, Louisiana, and is expanding into 14 other cities in six states — is now available in Austin after getting bolstered by the Techstars Austin Accelerator program.
Through the service, customers’ laundry is picked up, washed, folded, and delivered back to them by local “washrs” — an army of stay-at-home parents, retirees, remote workers, and side-hustling clean freaks (who can earn a little supplemental income from the gig).
Here’s how things wash out: Users download the Hampr app (available on Android and iOS devices) and create a membership ($39 annually), which includes delivery of four Hampr-branded laundry hampers that hold about one load each. Once users receive and fill up their Hamprs, they can schedule a laundry pickup in the app, then "washrs" handle the dirty work (for $10-$15 per load), and the fresh, folded laundry is delivered back home the following day.
Hampr screens every "washr," and ensures each load of a customer’s laundry is washed on its own, unlike at some commercial laundry facilities that pile multiple customers’ clothes in the wash together. And Hampr offers its eco-friendly Dropps detergent for more discerning users.
The concept was created by a working mother of two, Laurel Hess, who fashioned the idea after facing an all-too-common laundry dilemma.
“I came home from a business trip and was surrounded by laundry. It was the weekend, and my sons had birthday parties and T-ball opening day. I didn’t know how I was going to get it all done,” says Hess, founder and CEO of Hampr. “If we can get groceries and food from favorite restaurants delivered, why can’t we do the same with laundry?”
While the company is in the midst of a growth phase, Hess notes that Austin has been on her list from the beginning, a plan that was reinforced after the Techstars-backed startup graduated from the Techstars Austin entrepreneurial-support program.
“Austin has been on our road map since before the Techstars program,” she says. “We’re thrilled to be here and are overwhelmed by the support. As Austin bounces back from the pandemic and gets back to the office or extracurriculars, our hope is for Hampr to come in and save the day, one pile of laundry at a time.”