The CEO of Washlava, a Tampa technology company that creates a cashless laundry network, is stepping down from his leadership role but has major plans for the company’s future.
Last week, CEO Todd Belveal announced his plans to exit the role. CFO Tommy Hart was named as interim CEO, till a permanent CEO is found, and Michael Wik, Managing Director of Matrix Capital Advisors LLC, will serve as Chairman of the Board of Directors.
“I’m mindful enough to know when I’m done. It’s rare to find people who do it all– create companies and continue to run them,” Belveal said, who will remain as a shareholder of Washlava.
Washlava has a propriety technology platform that allows customers to reserve and pay for laundry machines through their smartphones. It has a location Tampa and six other locations across the U.S., used mainly in universities and colleges.
The company has won contracts at prestigious institutions such as the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Syracuse and Monmouth.
Washlava is the second startup founded by Belveal. He co-founded his first startup, Silvercar, a mobile app-based rental car company that sold to Audi.
“When I started this company, it was to evolve laundromats, create a better experience. Washlava is doing great in working and partnering with universities,” Belveal said, explaining the intention was to solve a bigger issue beyond universities and student housing – a goal he wants to revisit.
“I would like to franchise this tech. I have an agreement on rights to build it outside of the universities,” Belveal said.
Washlava’s platform is brand-agnostic and will work on any laundry machine that’s been outfitted with the technology.
The plan would be to license the tech from Washlava and build the stores to specific guidelines, he said; however, the potential franchise plan is still being crafted.
Washlava has a “shared laundry center” at 11819 N. Armenia Ave. in Carrollwood, which Belveal plans to use as a model for the franchise prototype.
Belveal’s exit and future plans for a possible franchise model take place as the company recently closed $9 million in recapitalization and equity financing from the Jacksonville-based Monterey Private Capital, known for its long-term investments in Southeastern startups, and the Tampa-based David A. Straz Jr. Foundation.
In 2019, the company raised $5 million growth financing.
LG Electronics, a South Korean multinational electronics company, was the sole investor in a Series A-1 equity financing following the $5 million raise.