Laundry and wet-cleaning startup Oxwash has raised £10 million in funding to grow the nationwide footprint of its green state-of-the-art washing process before launching in the US.

The brainchild of ex-NASA scientist and Forbes Europe 30 under 30 alumni Dr Kyle Grant and Oxford engineer Tom de Wilton, the startup founded in 2017 has also unveiled global B Corporation certification status.

The Series A round was led by Untitled VC and featured long-standing supporter Biz Stone, co-founder of Twitter; Indeed founder Paul Forster; and Holly and Sam Branson. 

New investors in the round include 8 Dimension Ventures, System Capital Management (Ukraine’s largest VC Fund), and Khimji Ramdas LLC. Existing investors partaking again include Reckitt venture arm Access VC, Pentland Group, Ascension Ventures, Vala Capital and Truesight Ventures.

Oxwash, which featured on our EnviroTech 50 ranking, has now raised a total of £15.7m. The business says it will now build a giant facility with the ability to service clients up and down the country.


Born out of humble frustrations with perpetually unreliable washing machines on campus, Dr Grant put his Synthetic Biology PhD at the University of Oxford into action, re-engineering the entire washing process by introducing technology typically used in space and hospital sterilisation.

It uses ozone technology to deodorise and sanitise fabrics at lower temperatures and says biodegradable chemistry formulations processes achieve higher than medical-grade disinfection.

The service also uses a combination of electric cargo bikes as well as its own fleet of electric vans and DPD’s electric vehicle service for a nationwide zero-emission logistics footprint.

The business is also investing in new methods such as acoustic drying, a way of drying textiles which uses soundwaves instead of heat as well as robotics and computer vision.

“This new funding will be used primarily to develop our technology and invest deeply into the complete decarbonisation of our proprietary washing process,” said Dr Grant.

“Up to 30% will be used for expanding our software technology capabilities, 30% for the deployment of our nationwide processing facility and the remainder for business development and growth.”

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In the last 12 months, Oxwash has quadrupled its revenue and achieved operational profitability across its three washing facilities, known as ‘lagoons’.

That growth is set to continue, as Oxwash focuses on servicing more large commercial clients, primarily in hospitality and circular fashion. Current clients include the Marriott Hotel Group, the NHS, and fashion rental platform Hurr.

Dr Grant added: “Starting a business just before a global pandemic and economic crisis is no one’s ideal business plan, and as we all know the needs of consumers and businesses have changed dramatically over the last couple of years. For us, this has meant focusing on building out a solution that is frictionless for our business clients – the last thing they need to worry about is how their laundry will get cleaned.

“BCorp accreditation cements our commitment to responsible business and is another assurance to our customers that we are doing business the right way. 

“It is undoubtedly the most robust certification available to demonstrate our dedication to sustainability and transparency that Oxwash is taking as a high growth company.

“From our inception in 2017, the business was designed from the ground-up on the principles of the BCorp framework, using the Impact Assessment to inform the structure, governance and mission. It runs through our veins.”

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Now employing over 80 people, Oxwash is projecting a 50% increase in headcount in the next year, and is on the hunt for top talent to help the service expand nationwide beyond its existing operations in London, Oxford, and Cambridge.

It says its riders and drivers are fully employed and, like the rest of the team, are paid in excess of the national living wage.

Magnus Rausing, general partner of Untitled VC, said: “Oxwash is a perfect example of a company that is using advanced technology to improve the product, while making the world a better place at the same time. By continuing to invest in innovation and bringing the service to more people, there is a huge opportunity here to scale up and take on the traditional laundry sector.