LG Electronics leads funding round for Washlava

LG Electronics will be the lead investor in a Series A equity financing for Washlava, a Tampa company that has brought technology to the laundry room.

Terms of the financing, including how much will be invested, were not disclosed in a news release announcing the deal.

Washlava, with technology that allows customers to reserve and pay for laundry machines from their smartphones, raised $1.05 million earlier this year in what founder and CEO Todd Belveal described as a bridge financing. He told the St. Pete Catalyst in May that he was working on a bigger deal.

LG Electronics, with global headquarters in Seoul, South Korea, creates consumer electronics, appliances and mobile devices, including laundry products that range from basic washers and dryers to fully integrated smart solutions with a variety of clothing care options.

“We could not be more excited about this important partnership with LG,”  Belveal said in the news release. “LG’s capabilities and standing in the industry, combined with Washlava’s proprietary IoT [Internet of Things] technology and user experience, create a platform that cultivates growth and innovation in a market that is primed for modernization.”

Washlava also highlighted its partnerships with other technology companies in the news release. Amazon Web Services hosts its technology platform. Stripe, a software platform for internet businesses, handles debit card, credit card and prepaid card transactions. Washlava also is the exclusive laundry partner of software company CBORD, which means that students at select schools have the ability to use their student ID cards as a form of payment in the Washlava mobile app.

Washlava opened its first smartphone-enabled laundromat in Tampa in 2017 and now has shared laundry centers in six cities. It also has laundry operations at New Jersey’s Monmouth University; multi-family housing units in Tampa, Orlando and Austin, Texas, and in a Courtyard Marriott in Orlando.

Margie Manning

Margie started her journalism career as a radio news reporter in St. Louis, before putting down her microphone and picking up a pen to work at the St. Louis Business Journal. Unable to resist the call of warm weather and beaches, Margie took an entrepreneurial detour to run an ice cream shop in Treasure Island with her husband. Before joining the Catalyst, Margie spent 14 years at the Tampa Bay Business Journal where she wrote about business successes, failures and the exciting world of innovation and start-ups. Her writing coaches are Bonnie the Dog and Coffee the Cat, joined recently by a new edition, Jack the Cat. Margie can be contacted at margie@stpetecatalyst.com

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