Laundry startup FlyCleaners confirms major layoffs

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FlyCleaners, a New York startup offering on-demand laundry pickup and delivery, has laid off “a large number” of its employees, co-founder and CEO David Salama told TechCrunch.

This confirms a story earlier this week in Crain’s New York reporting that FlyCleaners filed a notification with the Department of Labor outlining plans to close its Long Island City plant and lay off 116 employees.

As Salama explained when we profiled him several years ago, FlyCleaners customers can use the mobile app whenever they want someone to pick up their laundry — the startup handles pickup and return, while the actual cleaning is handled by local businesses.

In an email about the layoffs, Salama told me that the company (which raised a $2 million round led by Zelkova Ventures back in 2013) created its own team for pickup and delivery because “when we started FlyCleaners six years ago, the last mile logistics industry was simply not where we needed it to be in order to effectively service our customers.” More recently, however, the company has been testing out partnerships with other logistics companies as a way to “supplement” its own team.

“Recently, it became clear to us that the cost of our internal

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