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Ahlijasa goes to Silicon Valley to ‘sell’ laundry

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by August 27, 2016 General

Indonesian laundry service startup Ahlijasa will represent Southeast Asia at the 2017 Start-up World Cup grand final in Silicon Valley, US, selling the concept of on-demand laundry, home cleaning and AC repair services accessible through its website and mobile apps.

The barely year old start-up caught the attention of a panel of judges, among others from Singapore, Philippines and Malaysia at the Start-up World Cup event in Jakarta recently, as it eases the lives of Indonesians not wanting or having the time to do house chores.

Ahlijasa will get the chance to win s US$1 million prize at the worldwide event in March next year, which it hopes to use to hire more people, especially for its IT department.

“Right now we just have to prepare ourselves mentally to face the others in Silicon Valley, because if they’re there in the first place then they must be good. We just have to be ready for anything,” said Dimas Wijaya, one of the two co-founders of Ahlijasa.

Ahlijasa is the brainchild of former bankers Jay Jayawijayaningtiyas and Dimas Wijaya

“With laundry services in Indonesia, there seems to be no middle ground between premium laundry services and the very basic ones. It’s either too cheap or too expensive and most people do not trust the very cheap ones. And so, that’s where we step in,” Jay said.

Ahlijasa connects independent laundry services to customers, having partnered with 30 different independent laundry services across Jakarta, Bekasi and Tangerang, taking up to 100 orders a day. Delivery wise, dozens of drivers have been partnered with for the service.

Laundry services that work with Ahlijasa, added Jay, follow a standard guideline of 50 criteria, which include ironing and folding procedures. Customers are charged Rp 40,000 per every 25 liter box of laundry and are given a guaranteed completion period of three days.

Out of Ahlijasa’s daily orders, around 3 percent of their customers typically lodge complaints on the state of their laundry: a figure the company hopes to reduce to 1 percent. Standard complaints pertain to clothing discoloration, the appearance of holes or missing clothing.

“We have set aside a budget to compensate customers who end up with [damaged] laundry,” added Dimas. Most of their funding comes from their own pockets.

Efforts to gain investors for the project are under way, with opportunities sure to come after their regional win.

Ahlijasa’s win comes amid a mushrooming of e-commerce firms in Indonesia vying for glory in a competitive scene. Start-ups that have achieved success in Indonesia tend to be ones that appeal most to daily life, such as ride-sharing app Go-Jek and e-commerce platforms Bukalapak.

The growing Indonesian start-up scene has attracted foreign investors and venture capital (VC) firms.

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