Karan Walia was working at his cousin's startup company
—a waterless car-washing product that hit it big on the CBC program Dragon's Den
and wound up in Canadian Tire stores—when he was struck by inspiration.
"I realized while I was there that it was a big inconvenience to drivers to go out to the car wash, and they'd often spend a lot of time there waiting in line," he says. "And most car washes use an average of 300 litres of clean drinking water, while our waterless process uses less than 170 millilitres, so there are major eco-benefits."
The resulting company, launched last week in Mississauga, is Washly
, a service that allows people to park their cars in a publicly accessible spot, call or check in online using a computer or smartphone, and have experienced car detailers arrive to wash their car using the waterless system.
Walia, the company CEO, and his business partner, CTO Aysar Khalid, have financed the project themselves. "I guess in the startup world they'd say we're bootstrapping," Walia says. They work with six licensees, experienced car detailers, who do the washing. Walia says that in the first week demand has been high—they're already planning their expansion.
"We're getting a lot of calls from people in Toronto, Richmond Hill, Vaughan, so the demand is there," he says. "We're moving quickly to offer our service in Toronto by mid-April."
Writer: Edward Keenan
Source: Karan Walia, CEO, Washly