US: ShortTermRentalz speaks to Daniel Cruz, co-founder and CEO of washbnb, a tech-enabled linen solution for the short-term rental and hotel industries, which recently launched a crowdfunding campaign via Wefunder.
Read Part One of Cruz’ interview on ShortTermRentalz from 20 May here.
- How do you see washbnb fitting into and enhancing the growing optech ecosystem in the short-term rental industry?
We’re so excited to be building washbnb alongside dozens of other entrepreneurs who have dedicated their lives to making hosting easier while improving quality and quality of life for hosts / managers! Operations are often what prevent hosts from building up their side hustle, and what separate the best large-scale operators from the rest. Automation is an important part of operations and we definitely have OTA calendar syncing, PMS integrations, and partnerships with other optech solutions on our product roadmap.
I think it’s smart though to call out the fact that aside from cleaning services, everyone I know is working on digital solutions that scale, we share a customer base that very much operates in the physical world. As the lines continue to blur between home and hotel, long-term and short-term rental, and spaces we live / work / play in, I think it’s vital to develop the physical services that best enable amazing hospitality. washbnb is a trojan horse in those spaces, and once we master the linens and laundry, there’s no limit to what else we can build on top of our logistics network and amazing front-line employees.
- Do you see environmental sustainability as a core value of washbnb? How does your solution help to reduce travel’s footprint?
Environmental sustainability is absolutely core to washbnb and guides just about all of our decisions. It’s a core value for me, my co-founding team, and is of course a core value proposition of our service. It’s not just lip service or a clever marketing strategy, it’s just the best way to run a business like this in which we must reduce what we consume to save money and ensure long-term continuity.
We accomplish sustainability in three major ways:
Firstly, no plastic. We simply don’t have a place for synthetic fibres in our bed linens or terry towels because they shed plastic microfibres into the water supply and then live in landfills forever. 100 per cent natural fibres that are sustainably grown and spun into our linens are all that we will ever use for washbnb.
Secondly, by using industrial laundry systems, we reduce the use of water, energy, and chemicals by 80 per cent, pound- for-pound vs residential machines which is where most laundry is being done in this industry.
We’re investing in ozone which not only results in the best possible sterile clean but does so using cold water, further reducing the energy footprint of our laundry operations.
Finally, when our linens are no longer fit for guest use, they’re donated to an up-cycler which turns them into healthcare linens for the developing world. Eventually, they will end up in a landfill though where they will simply biodegrade in days, not decades.
- What do you hope for the future of washbnb and how do you intend to grow the business?
We’re a long way from doing this at scale but it’s never too early to start working on culture and being clear about values so that we’re aligned with our stakeholders as we grow.
An avid traveller and Airbnb host, Cruz founded washbnb in 2020 after struggling with laundry at his short-term rental properties in Milwaukee. Daniel relocated to Milwaukee from his native San Francisco in 2016 to become a full-time entrepreneur and is a strong supporter of stakeholder capitalism and environmental sustainability.