Advisor at Tide Cleaners
Vijen Patel is an entrepreneur and investor in Chicago. Most recently, Vijen co-founded and was CEO of Pressbox. Pressbox places proprietary lockers across convenient locations to serve as a 24/7 dry cleaner and laundromat. By July 2018, Pressbox grew to 140 employees who served guests across 700+ locations in 8 cities. Pressbox sold to Procter & Gamble in July 2018. Vijen was retained as the CEO of the organization, leading the expansion, marketing, business operations, and executive team under the new brand Tide Cleaners. Vijen remains an Advisor of Tide Cleaners after completion of the Pressbox acquisition and earnout. Before Pressbox, Vijen was a consumer and healthcare private equity investor in San Francisco. He completed a $21M growth equity investment into high–end urgent care centers, and led the diligence of 4 consumer investment opportunities that later realized $200M+ exits. Prior to private equity, Vijen worked at McKinsey & Company in New York, London, and South Africa. Vijen graduated from University of Notre Dame with a degree in Mathematics and a degree in Finance. He lives in Chicago with his wife and baby boy.
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Jul 2020 - Present
Transitioned to an advisory role starting in July 2020.
Jul 2018 - Jul 2020
Retained post-acquisition of Pressbox to become CEO of Tide Cleaners. We provide a higher quality of cleaning while saving Americans 350 hours per year from doing their laundry. Grew to 2,000 locations around the country by the end of 2020.
Jun 2013 - Jul 2018
Co-Founder | CEO of Pressbox
Launched Pressbox in June 2013 to re-create the dry cleaning and laundry experience, and sold to Procter & Gamble in July 2018 Pressbox transformed the traditional store–front dry cleaning experience by eliminating rent and labor and moved the store-front closer to the customer’s wardrobe through proprietary lockers. We bootstrapped the company and funded the growth of 130 employees, 700 locations, and 7 cities off cash flow. Grew Pressbox to 100 locations in Chicago in the first year and led the expansion to 800 locations by July 2018. In parallel, we built the second largest production facility in Illinois and became the largest locker–based dry cleaner in the world.
Aug 2011 - Jul 2013
Friedman Fleischer & Lowe
Collaborated with 25-person team to analyze and execute growth equity investments as part of a $3B fund, helping the firm achieve #1 ranking by HEC-Dow Jones's Private Performance Ranking. Identified and reviewed 50+ new business opportunities across consumer, retail, healthcare, and education sectors. Spearheaded $21M growth equity investment in WellStreet Urgent Care to develop a national chain of 14 high–end urgent care centers, with a total expected investment of $75M. Assisted management with developing the urgent care investment thesis and validating prototype unit economics, serving as the primary author and presenter to our investment committee. Evaluated competitor’s successes and setbacks, in addition to payor strategies, to influence post-investment strategies, persuading the team to open the 10th location in rural geography. Also, sourced four investment opportunities in support of snack company acquisition strategy. Investment recommendation would have returned >20x capital commitment.
Aug 2010 - Jul 2011
McKinsey & Company
Senior Business Analyst
Managed the training program for 14 new business analysts, and contributed to two chapters of “Valuation,” the McKinsey corporate finance textbook. Projects included crafting and delivering mining client’s response to South Africa’s proposed carbon tax solution to reduce emissions and validating clinical costs to support negotiations between £1B worth of British hospital operations and payors.