Travelling for business is stressful.
But combining it with the horror of packing for the trip makes it downright gruelling.
Dufl, a startup that launched Thursday, aims to eliminate the pain of packing by removing the traveller from the equation almost entirely.
Here’s how it works:
- Download the Dufl app and sign up. After you request a special Dufl suitcase, it will arrive at your door ready to pack.
- Pack the suitcase with anything you think you might need on your forthcoming trips.
- Mail the packed suitcase to Dufl’s central storage facility. Dufl has partnered with FedEx, which will pick up the suitcase. Once it arrives, Dufl will take inventory of all of your clothes and take photographs for your own reference on their app.
- Request a suitcase when you book your trip. The app lets you pick which clothes you want on a particular trip, which will then be expertly folded and is guaranteed to be waiting for you in whatever city and hotel you’re staying.
- Return the suitcase to Dufl via FedEx. Your clothes will be transported back to Dufl’s facility, where they will then be washed or dry cleaned and stored for your next trip.
Your clothes won’t, however, be returned to you. You’ll only see them on your next trip. Dufl CEO Bill Rinehart doesn’t foresee much separation anxiety between Dufl users and their wardrobe, however.
It is “soon outweighed by the convenience,” Rinehart says.
Rinehart notes that Dufl allows a lot of flexibility, letting users to remove or add any piece of clothing to their Dufl wardrobes at any time via a suitcase shipped to their home.
“A user doesn’t have to be away from his clothing any longer than he wants to be,” Rinehart says.
The storage service runs $US10 a month, and each bag sent to your destination costs $US99 roundtrip — including the cleaning and repacking.
Rinehart envisions Dufl’s users to be people who travel by plane, most often for business. Dufl is perfect for users that already have clothes they only wear on the road. Rhinehart said some customers are actually buying special clothes just for their Dufl wardrobe.
He notes that when you take into account things like dry cleaning and checked bag fees, that $US99 roundtrip fee doesn’t look too bad.
Rinehart is no startup newbie. He’s launched several projects. He created Dufl because he was fed up with the demands that packing and dealing with luggage placed on him when he was travelling. The company has already raised $US2.5 million in seed funding from private investors and expects to raise more capital this year, according to Rinehart.
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