Another day and another start-up goes down the drainpipe. Mumbai-based DoorMint, a home-based laundry-based services platform, has closed its operations. The shutting down of DoorMint was kind of inevitable as it shut down its operations in some parts of Bengaluru and Gurgaon last month. DoorMint was started in September 2014, by three IIT alumni Abhinav Agarwal, Naman Lahoty, and Piyush Ranjan, in a bid to resolve sticky issues involving the accessibility of household service professionals while they were residing in Mumbai.
DoorMint, initially, provided on-demand services such as electrician, plumber, carpenter, pest control, etc. It later trimmed down its commercial enterprise model to laundry services and related auxiliary services. In 2015, DoorMint had raised $3 million as a part of Series A funding led by Helion Venture Partners along with Kalaari Capital. It received its seed funding from Powai Lake Ventures. The objective of financing, at that time, was to channel the funds to improve its operations in Mumbai and further expansions in other metropolitan cities.
Though DoorMint operated in a niche segment of the unorganized sector, it was being plagued by inconsistency in the services. Such lack of emphasis on customer service where local dhobis, maids and dry cleaners form a majority share of market acted as a death-knell for the company. No returning customers, no growth per se.
The laundry-based services platforms’ lack of quality back-close processes which, in turn, affect the quality of front-end processes and eventually, customer satisfaction. Although the laundry-based services platform is touted to be a major segment where the marketplace is highly fragmented and lacks any significant player, investors have flagged the strategy of burning cash and are expecting entrepreneurs to show more sustainable business models with a focal point on unit economics. Sticky domain it is!