CWS-boco: Strategic partnership with start-up “Jonny Fresh”

Corporate Venture Capital

, 05/07/2018

CWS-boco becomes a strategic investor in digital laundry “Jonny Fresh”. The investment provides for a seven-digit increase in capital, with the intention of boosting the growth of the Berlin-based start-up and expanding market leadership. As a result of their different business models, the cooperation of the two partners offers great potential. CWS-boco will benefit from the know-how of the start-up, to expand its own digital strategy.

On the basis of its very well networked and individual logistics systems, Jonny Fresh has become established as a B2C platform which collects and cleans private laundry and textiles. CWS-boco, on the other hand, has to date been active in the purely B2B segment, in which the company’s own rental clothing and hygiene-related textiles are washed.

“Jonny Fresh is pursuing an interesting business model and we want to learn from it,” explains Daniel Willmes, Director of Corporate Business Development at CWS-boco. “The start-up is the market leader in the provision of private laundry cleaning in Germany, and it has achieved that without any operational business premises of its own. It works exclusively through a network of local partners. We want to benefit from the experience of the Internet platform for consumers and, in turn, to contribute our know-how in the B2B market at Jonny Fresh.”

The expertise of Jonny Fresh lies in its system architecture and the software solution it uses. It works using an “app ecosystem”, through which the customers, the laundries and Jonny Fresh are closely connected. The private service provider employs 35 staff and was developed by Managing Director Sebastian Schmidt as a spin-off project of the Technical University of Applied Sciences (Technische Hochschule) Wildau. Stefan Michaelis (CEO) joined the management team shortly afterwards.

“It is our aim to implement the experience gained from this strategic investment throughout the company and so to offer our customers additional services,” explains Michaelis. “As a platform partner with immense customer coverage from 550,000 delivery points in Germany alone, and with customers in every sector and of all sizes, Jonny Fresh will benefit from the wide market access of CWS-boco.”

The intended business model provides for companies from the CWS-boco customer base to be able to offer their employees the delivery service of Jonny Fresh (“B2B2C”), among other things. The target group is made up of employees of medium and large-scale enterprises. As a start-up, Jonny Fresh will also benefit from experience-related factors such as international market expertise and the B2B know-how of the entire CWS-boco Group. In order to be able to directly exploit these synergies, representatives of CWS-boco sit on the Advisory Board of Jonny Fresh alongside the initial investors ENGELHARDT KAUPP KIEFER Unternehmensbeteiligungen and Lightfield Equity. The investment company ENGELHARDT KAUPP KIEFER has supported Jonny Fresh since 2016 as a “hands-on” investor in building up the company. In 2017, further growth capital was acquired with the investment of Lightfield Equity.

After consolidating its market leadership by means of expansion into other German cities, with this investment Jonny Fresh is now also aiming to acquire more local competitors in the DACH region. In addition, it now intends to invest in its own technology to make the logistics solution – already a USP – even more efficient for its partner companies. There are also plans to develop the Operation team for better customer and partner support.

CWS-boco consistently implements digitisation

With this strategic investment, Jonny Fresh becomes another milestone for CWS-boco in its own “digital journey”. The first moves have already been taken in that direction. For example, new solutions with flexible contract periods are being tested with the “” and “” online services. The investment in the “Fit Analytics” start-up was also one of the first digital strategy initiatives.

Speaking about the partnership with Jonny Fresh, Thomas Schmidt, CEO of the CWS-boco Group, says: “We want to become the internationally recognised market leader for innovative and digitally supported rental solutions in the field of hygiene, work clothes and fire safety. To achieve this we must adapt our offering to meet current market requirements, increasingly address customers online and also offer digital services. The investment in Jonny Fresh demonstrates once again how consistently we are pursuing digitisation and constantly developing our business model.”


About CWS-boco

CWS-boco is one of the leading international service providers of professional textile services and washroom hygiene solutions. The solution portfolio includes the CWS hand towel, soap and fragrance dispensers, dust control mats as well as workwear and protective clothing of boco. The company understands itself as innovations and quality leader in Europe.

CWS-boco employs some 10,800 employees in 16 countries and generated a turnover of 971 million Euro in 2017. Franz Haniel & Cie. GmbH holds an 82% share and Rentokil Initial plc an 18% share of CWS-boco.


Press contact

Dr. Maren Otte
CWS-boco International GmbH
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D-63303 Dreieich
Fax: +49 6103 309-1729
Madeleine Pilpin
vibrio. Kommunikationsmanagement Dr. Kausch GmbH
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