Haircuts have the power to make you feel like a million bucks or like an awkward loser with just a few snips of the scissors.
StyleSeat has closed $10.2 million in funding for its online marketplace where you can find and book for beauty and wellness appointments near you. Every professional’s profile on the site comes with personal information, the services they provide at what price, examples of their work, and recommendations from other customers.
StyleSeat started out in 2011 as a platform for hair stylists, massage therapists, manicurists, makeup artists, etc. to grow their online business. It offered tools for online booking, client management, and marketing so they could attract new clients, stay connected with existing clients, and have a more professional, convenient online presence.
After building up its database of professionals, StyleSeat built a consumer-facing marketplace where people can search for beauty and wellness appointments. The site offers flexible scheduling options so you can find “a same-day blowout, a haircut next month or a manicure tomorrow.”
StyleSeat now has more than 200,000 beauty professionals using the platform too manage their business, 2 million clients, and has facilitated $350 million in services booked on the platform since it was founded.
The company claims that the average professional can grow their revenue by 68% in the first 15 months on StyleSeat.
Last month StyleSeat released new mobile apps for iOS and Android which has also had a powerful impact on sales, since one of the major benefits to clients is the ability to book on-the-go. The company said that client bookings from mobile devices are up more than 16% since the app launched, and 68% of its usage currently comes from mobile devices.
Local services is attracting a lot of attention in the tech world right now. Small businesses account for 54% of all sales in the U.S. and more than half of all jobs, but it is a highly fragmented market. SMBs remained primarily offline for years.
However people now want and expect an online presence and it is necessary for businesses to keep up. The ability to access information and book online can make or break a client’s decision.
The ubiquity of mobile devices has also created new opportunities for small business owners to reach people who are nearby.
These shifts have unleashed a flood of tech startups offering marketplaces, digital storefronts, and online booking tools. Yelp is the most well-known, but there is also MyTime, MindBody, Booker.com, and StyleSeat’s most direct rival Beauteeze, which is based in New York.
Professionals from 15,000 cities across America are listed in StyleSeat’s directory, and StyleSeat has a strong footprint in most major U.S. cities, including San Francisco, New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, Las Vegas, Seattle, Austin, and Miami.
Lightspeed Ventures led this second round of funding, with participation from existing investor Lowercase Capital. The money will help StyleSeat fund its growth, as well as develop additional features for the platform.
StyleSeat is based in San Francisco and has raised $15 million to date.
VB's research team is studying mobile user acquisition... Chime in here, and we’ll share the results.