Daniel Cruz, washbnb CEO, Q+A, part two
United States: ShortTermRentalz interviews Daniel Cruz, co-founder and CEO of washbnb, a technological laundry solution for the short-term rental and hospitality sectors, which recently launched a crowdfunding campaign via Wefunder.
Read the first part of Cruz’s interview on ShortTermRentalz from May 20 here.
- How do you see washbnb fitting in and enhancing the growing optech ecosystem in the short-term rental industry?
We are excited to build washbnb alongside dozens of other entrepreneurs who have dedicated their lives to making hosting easier while improving the quality and quality of life for hosts/managers! Operations are often what keep hosts from growing their side business and what separates the best large-scale operators from the rest. Automation is an important part of operations and we certainly have OTA calendar synchronization, PMS integrations and partnerships with other optech solutions on our product roadmap.
However, I think it’s worth pointing out that apart from cleaning services, everyone I know is working on large-scale digital solutions, we share a customer base that primarily operates in the physical world. As the lines continue to blur between home and hotel, long-term and short-term rental, and the spaces we live/work/play in, I believe it is essential to expand physical services that best allow for incredible hospitality. washbnb is a Trojan horse in these spaces, and once we get the hang of linens and laundry, there’s no limit to what we can build on top of our logistics network and our amazing people at First line.
- Do you consider environmental sustainability a core washbnb value? How does your solution help reduce the travel footprint?
Environmental sustainability is absolutely essential to washbnb and guides just about all of our decisions. This is a core value for me, my co-founding team, and it is of course a core value proposition of our service. It’s not just lip service or a smart marketing strategy, it’s just the best way to run a business like this where we have to reduce what we consume to save money and ensure continuity long-term.
We achieve sustainability in three main ways:
First of all, no plastic. We just don’t have a place for synthetic fibers in our sheets or terry towels because they spread plastic microfibers into the water supply and then live in landfills forever. 100% natural, sustainably grown fibers woven into our sheets are all we’ll use for washing.
Second, by using industrial laundry systems, we reduce water, energy and chemical usage by 80%, pound for pound compared to residential machines, where most laundry is done in this industry.
We invest in ozone, which not only provides the best possible sterile cleaning, but also uses cold water, which further reduces the energy footprint of our laundry operations.
Finally, when our sheets are no longer fit for guest use, they are donated to a recycler who turns them into healthcare linens for the developing world. Eventually they will end up in a landfill where they will simply biodegrade in days, not decades.
- What are your hopes for the future of washbnb and how do you plan to grow the business?
I hope Washbnb can live up to the high expectations we have set for it and take values-based capitalism to new heights. We will develop this activity for all stakeholders, and never at their expense. This means offering hospitality to our employees, to our customers and their guests, to the environment, to our communities, to our suppliers, to our investors and even to our competitors.
We’re a long way from doing this at scale, but it’s never too early to start working on culture and being clear on values so that we’re aligned with our stakeholders as we grow.
An avid traveler and Airbnb host, Cruz founded washbnb in 2020 after struggling with laundry at his short-term rental properties in Milwaukee. Daniel moved to Milwaukee from his native San Francisco in 2016 to become a full-time entrepreneur and is a strong believer in stakeholder capitalism and environmental sustainability.