The economy is in chaos, companies require governmental support, and the world is digitalising fast. Startups are used to working in uncertain circumstances and pivot fast. Estonian mobile car wash startup UpSteam, who recently raised € 1 million through crowdfunding, is digitalising car wash by bringing it to customers' doorsteps.
“One of our funding promises was to expand to three new markets in 18 months. We made enormous progress this March by opening offices in Warsaw. Our Polish Country Manager is an experienced business development manager Andrzej Krzysztofowicz,” said the co-founder and COO of UpSteam, Valjo Kütt.
UpSteam is focusing on apartment buildings and business partners in the first phase and will not target private clients before the third quarter of 2020. “Polish market will prove our ability to adapt to a very large market and is a stepping-stone for launching our service in Germany in 2021. Warsaw alone has 1.4 times more cars registered than in all of Estonia,” said Kütt.
UpSteam had to adapt to the changing market situation rapidly with remote work becoming the norm within weeks. As offices spread out from regular business locations to all across the city, a pop-up car wash service line was launched. A new personalised booking platform was created for apartment buildings. “Pop-up Car wash works on a washing schedule and offers inexpensive rates for covering several customers in one location” said UpSteam’s founder and CEO Martin Kristerson.
Building managers don’t have to worry about car wash locations impact on the environment as the parking lot remains clean and dry after each wash. Their innovative wash technology uses only 1-2 liters of washing detergent, doesn't use flowing water and all the residue is collected in microfiber towels.
“The interest in our new service exceeds our expectations and there seems to be a perfect fit. We believe that our customer base will keep increasing during the crises as car owners opt for smarter solutions” said Kristerson. We have established more than 20 new locations across Tallinn in the first few weeks of the emergency order and plan to multiply that number during the next two months. The new product was launched also in Finland and Poland.
UpSteam is a mobile car wash platform that connects busy car owners with mobile car washers. It was founded in 2017 by Martin Kristerson, Valjo Kütt, and Aleksis Anijärv. In 2018, UpSteam came 3rd in business idea competition “Ajujaht”. In 2019 a mobile app was launched and the company expanded to Finland. In 2020 UpSteam raised € 1 million through Funderbeam and launched their service in the Polish market. The startup has been nominated for the Business Award for Environment for two years in a row.