Heroes of clean laundry: Jonny Fresh and the Citan.

The Berlin start-up Jonny Fresh picks up dirty laundry from homes and returns it clean in a Mercedes-Benz Citan – all within 48 hours.

Trouble with opening hours.

While the sun slowly disappears behind the rooftops of Berlin, Stefan Michaelis hurries through the streets of the big city – a huge laundry bag clamped under his arm. As usual, he stayed later at the office than expected. But the stress isn't over for the young Berliner because his favourite shirts still need cleaning. A quick glance at his watch tells him it's going to be a close call. Stefan rounds the final corner – too late. The doors are already shut. "That’s exactly what motivated me to found Jonny Fresh in 2013," the 34-year-old recalls. His plan was to have dirty laundry picked up from customers' homes, saving them a lot of time and effort.

A new approach to traditional laundrettes.

Stefan is a young, athletic guy. At the age of 21, the Berliner-by-choice founded his first start-up – at the time as a university fresher. But now a laundry service? How does that fit together? "Very well actually," Stefan and his co-founder Sebastian Schmidt explain. "We simply wanted to make something fresh, young and modern out of a dusty old service." And that is how we came up with the name of the start-up: "Jonny stands for the general public, and Fresh is a cheeky, new thing," explains Stefan with a wink.

Why a Citan?

"We opted for the Citan because it's small yet spacious. For us, it's the optimal combination of a van and a space-saving vehicle for use in the inner-city."

"Our service gives the gift of time."

But how does the mobile cleaning service actually work? Very simple: the customer places their order via the app. At the same time, he or she selects a delivery slot, thereby determining the date and time for collection. An algorithm specially developed for Jonny Fresh then processes the booking and determines an ideal route for the driver. The driver then picks up the dirty laundry directly at the customer’s home or office and drives it in a Mercedes-Benz Citan to a partner laundrette in the city. Jonny Fresh brings the laundry back at the latest 48 hours later – freshly washed and ironed, of course. "We take our customers' laundry off their hands and give them more time for what’s important," explains Stefan proudly.

Simple concept – difficult path.

However uncomplicated the concept of Jonny Fresh may be, it was by no means an easy feat for Stefan and Sebastian. "Our first plan was to set up a sort of laundry parcel station," recalls Sebastian. But the two business partners quickly realised that this wouldn't work. Due to high costs, the two had to rethink in order not to risk their professional future. Then the idea of a delivery service arose. But there are also risks involved with this too: several founders before Sebastian and Stefan have attempted delivery services for laundry – and failed mercilessly after a few months. But the two Berliners are convinced: their concept is better. And the time is ripe for Jonny Fresh.

The fear simply washed away.

And so the Berliners ventured into a time of trepidation. Even though Stefan already had some experience with start-ups – the fear of failure remained. "The first few weeks were very nerve wracking," he recounts. But the customers arrived faster than expected – and stayed. Since then, Jonny Fresh can be considered a real success: in 2016 the start-up took more than 350,000 laundry orders and the delivery service has also expanded to Vienna, Munich, Hamburg, Cologne, Frankfurt and Hanover.

The Citan as a laundry hero for big cities.

Key to the success of the business are predominantly the high quality of the cleaning and the rapid delivery. This is made possible thanks to the Citan from Mercedes-Benz: "We opted for the Citan because it's small yet spacious. For us, it's the optimal combination of a van and a space-saving vehicle for use in the inner-city." To ensure that the freshly ironed laundry remains crease-free during delivery, the load compartment of the Citan is also equipped with a three-rail system. This allows clothes to be transported on hangers to the customer, for whom week-long waiting for their favourite shirt or a rapid sprint to the dry cleaners are now a thing of the past.

Not just a giant leap for Stefan and Sebastian.

The laundry delivery service proposed by start-up Jonny Fresh takes the laundry cleaning business into the digital age.

Fast and straightforward. 

The cleaning service can be ordered using an app and delivery takes place within 48 hours.

Rapid, crease-free delivery. 

This is made possible by the Mercedes-Benz Citan.

Photos:

Jonny Fresh

More links to discover:

Jonny Fresh - www.jonnyfresh.com, @Facebook

The conversions shown were made by independent third-party providers. The providers and the conversions were not checked by Mercedes-Benz. The photos in no way serve as an evaluation by Mercedes-Benz of the provider and/or conversions in question.

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