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Santa Monica Startup Gets New

Financing

The venture capital firm Canaan Partners has led a $10.5 million round in Washio, which makes an app for on-demand laundry and dry cleaning services, both companies said on Monday.

Earlier investors — Ashton Kutcher’s A Grade Investments, Pejman Mar Ventures, the Yahoo co-founder Jerry Yang and Sherpa Ventures — also participated.

With the new round, Washio, based in Santa Monica, Calif., has raised a total of roughly $13 million since its 2013 founding, the company’s co-founder and chief executive, Jordan Metzner, told DealBook.

He said the company, which operates in Los Angeles, San Francisco and Washington, plans to use the capital to expand across the United States. With the app, Washio sends out people to pick and up and deliver laundry — somewhat akin to the Uber of washing.

Washio expects to open in New York before the end of this year, Mr. Metzner said. The company is also looking at Boston, Chicago and Miami, among other cities.

International expansion is not a priority, said the 30-year-old Mr. Metzner, who earlier founded the California Burrito Company in Buenos Aires.

For Canaan, known for its 2007 investment in Lenders Club, the peer-to-peer lender, the Washio investment comes from its ninth fund, about $600 million, said Hrach Simonian. The firm continues to be bullish on the shared economy.

Mr. Simonian will join Washio’s board.

Helping people find laundry services is a competitive market. Although some have not fared well. For example, Prim, a Y-Combinator alumnus, called it quits earlier this year.

New York-based FlyCleaners, however, remains active and appears to be growing.

Mr. Simonian sees a huge business opportunity. He contends that more than 70 percent of dry cleaning stores are just storefronts and send out their clothes to other companies.

“Why have a storefront when you can do this online?” he asked.

Carjack suspect may be staying in

South Bay

Santa Monica police are asking for the public’s help to locate a carjacking suspect believed to be armed and dangerous and possibly hiding in the South Bay or the Westside.

The search for 45-year-old David Guyer began last November after he went into a Mercedes dealership in Santa Monica and requested a test drive of a new car, said Santa Monica police Lt. Richard Lewis.

Guyer gave the salesperson an Arizona license, which was photocopied and retained for the dealer’s records, Lewis said. During his test drive, Guyer suddenly stopped the car, told the salesperson he had a gun, ordered him out of the vehicle and drove off. The car was recovered six days later in Hermosa Beach, Lewis said.

A warrant for Guyer’s arrest on suspicion of carjacking was issued March 19 of this year, Lewis said. There was no immediate explanation from the Police Department for the time lag between the alleged crime and the issuance of the warrant.

Guyer is a former Marine and supposedly a martial arts expert. He should be considered armed and dangerous, Lewis said. Guyer previously lived in Tracy and the Venice section of Los Angeles. He may be staying somewhere in the South Bay or Westside, Lewis said.

He is white, 6 feet 2 inches tall, weighs about 190 pounds, has brown hair, green eyes and was last seen wearing a closely trimmed goatee, according to Lewis.

Anyone with information on his whereabouts was asked to call SMPD Detective Chad Goodwin at 310-458-8942, Sgt. Tom McLaughlin at 310-458-8430, the Santa Monica police at 310-458-8495 or Crime Stoppers, which offers a $1,000 reward, at 800-222-TIPS. The FBI also is offering a $5,000 reward for information leading to an arrest and conviction.

23rd Annual Santa Monica Festival

The city of Santa Monica will be holding their 23rd Annual Santa Monica Festival on Saturday, June 14. The festival was put together by the City of Santa Monica Cultural Affairs Division and Office of Sustainability and the Environment.

The festival is free to attend and will be showcasing sustainability in everyday life with art workshops, music, dance performances, cooking demonstrations, and fitness classes. A Bike Hub will also be available at the event which will educate the public on bike safety, maintenance, prizes, etc. The Big Blue Bus route 8 will also be free for the day; a coupon can be received from the Big Blue Bus website at http://bigbluebus.com/.

The event starts at 10:30 a.m. and ends at 6:00 p.m., and will be located at Clover Park, on 2600 Ocean Park Boulevard, E. Cloverfield Boulevard and 28th Street.

 

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