We’ve all heard stories about startups winding up, but how often is it that we hear of its CEO mysteriously disappearing from all the action as well?
Kelvin Khoo, the founder and CEO of Singapore startup My Laundry Box has apparently gone missing.
But first, a short introduction to the startup for the unacquainted.
Launched in 2013, My Laundry Box gives Singaporeans and residents a chance to have access to dry cleaning and laundry services 24/7.
The service lets users deposit their dirty laundry into Smart Laundry Lockers (available at around 40 condominiums and offices around Singapore), and 2 to 5 working days after, they can go back to the lockers to pick up their fresh laundry.
Deliveries to users’ homes are also available, for those who are too busy to pick up their clothes. All this can be done via My Laundry Box’s mobile app.
For those who want a more in-depth look, we’ve also covered it during its early stages 2 years back.
Unfortunately, with the latest news, its promising concept and initially successful run has come to a screeching halt.
According to a report on Lianhe Zaobao, a long-time user of the service, Mr Shao, has been using the service for over 2 years, and was very satisfied with the convenience it provided him.
However, alarm bells started ringing when there was a sudden drop of service quality since the beginning of last month.
As quoted from Zaobao, “Previously, I would get a notification email from the company before my laundry was sent for washing. I would then get my laundry back in 5 days. However, a month ago, this dragged on to 10 days, and it was only when I asked the company that I finally got back my clean laundry.”
The last straw came for Mr Shao on 28 September, when he put his laundry into the locker but didn’t get any notification email. When he went back to the locker to check, he realised that the clothes weren’t even moved since he put them in, and he thus had no choice but to wash them himself.
A check on My Laundry Box’s Facebook page also revealed that he wasn’t the only one experiencing this. Many were caught in a trickier situation, because on top of losing their deposit, some couldn’t even retrieve their own laundry.
According to AsiaOne, some even had to resort to going straight to the startup’s subcontractor – a washing and dry-cleaning outlet in Kaki Bukit – to get their clothes back. My Laundry Box’s main office is also said to be currently vacant and locked up.
Mr Shao was said to have lost $50 worth of deposit – and sadly, he’s just one of the many.
We took a look through My Laundry Box’s Facebook page and website, and while on the surface the business seems to be running on as per normal, comments from enraged, and plain confused customers are saying another story.
However, it was this comment that made the situation even worse than it was already:
A quick check on his personal Facebook page still lists My Laundry Box’s July call for job applicants, and if the comments are right, it does seem like Khoo is still missing from the picture.
It’s unfortunate that a local startup has run into such trouble, and we hope that a solution for customers, and an official response from the team themselves would surface soon.