Wype is based in Southern California, where cars are shiny and water is scarce. Wype detailers arrive at your car armed with non-toxic, plant-based proprietary cleaning products that require no additional water — no hoses, no puddles. According to Kim, the car wash industry wastes 300 million gallons of water, or 38 gallons per car, each day. (Auto Laundry News estimates that car washes use between 35 and 120 gallons per vehicle, depending on wash type.)
Wype was founded in 2014 in Orange County by Kim, Kevin Dawson and former LA Laker Jordan Farmar (who's currently with the Memphis Grizzlies). Most customers are not pro basketball players, though; they're males with above-average income and soccer-mom types, all between the ages of 24 and 40. Interestingly, the men tend to call for their cars to be cleaned on weekends, while three-quarters of women request a car detail on weekdays.
No matter the demographic, there are three levels of Wype: the Quickie, which only cleans the exterior and doesn't require you to give the keys to the detailer; the Standard, which gets the interior and exterior clean; and the Swanky, which adds wax. When they clean the interior, they'll take out the trash, organize your stuff that isn't trash and leave you a mint. They also take before and after pictures.
Kim said in an email that no car has yet been too dirty for Wype to handle. "Our process safely and effectively cleans surfaces that haven't been washed for months," he wrote. "Now, we're also lucky that there aren't too many off-roaders in the areas we service." So that Jeep in the picture may be a challenge.
Wype's service area is still small, and the mobile web version will roll out in the next couple of weeks. (The iOS app is out there already; there is not an Android app.)
So to recap: Wype will clean your car. Wyper will help you shop for a car. The URLs for Wipe.com and Wiper.com, as far as I can tell, are up for grabs.
This article by Kristen Hall-Geisler originally ran on TechCrunch, a leading technology media property, dedicated to obsessively profiling startups, reviewing new Internet products, and breaking tech news.