Two twenty-something Londoners are set to clean up after pivoting their mobile charging units firm into a hand sanitiser supplier.
Hugo Tilmouth and Charlie Baron were set to launch ChargedUp, a network of mobile phone charging units which would sit in public places across the capital.
But as Covid-19 hit, the firm – backed by both Garage Fund and JamJar, two of the UK’s most successful start-up investors – turned their mobile charging stations into hand sanitiser bays.
The new entity – CleanedUp – has already secured deals with Costa, DHL and Hello Fresh and has now signed a lucrative deal with Transport for London.
Hugo told City A.M.: “We were set to roll out 150 mobile charging stations across UK airports, train stations and shopping centres the week lockdown hit, completely halting us in our tracks.
“Immediately, we were like, how on earth do we keep the company afloat?
“We spent the entire night going through models and situations, taking the really austere view – what happens if there is no chance of revenue for ChargedUp until 2021?
“We then asked ourselves, what do we have in our skillset and how do we still support our supply network of shopping centres, pubs and transport hubs to help them operate safely in future?
“Somewhat serendipitously, the mobile stations sat dormant had been designed specifically for high traffic locations – which spurred Charlie into thinking they could be refined into large capacity affordable hand sanitising bays with minimal investment.”
The firm also deliberately sought out small suppliers to provide the hand sanitiser itself, working with independent gin suppliers who converted their distilleries at the height of the pandemic to create much-needed antibacterial cleaner.
It has now joined in a trade recovery initiative – Raising the Bar – helping the UK’s pubs and restaurants welcome customers back safely, providing sanitiser kits free of charge, giving the badly-hit hospitality industry a fighting chance.
“Hospitality businesses are the linchpin in bringing people together to socialise and celebrate – something we have all sorely missed during the pandemic. So many outlets have been impacted by this crisis and badly need help to open their doors again. Pubs and bars are the heartbeat of every community – sustaining hundreds of millions of jobs, often the first foot on the employment ladder for young people,” said Charlie.
The firm also confirmed they’ll be handing back the government’s furlough assistance.
The ‘Raising the Bar’ initiative is open to independent and managed operators. Pubs and bars can apply for access to hand sanitiser units and hygiene kits free of charge at https://www.mydiageo.com