AstroLabs Member: Shedul
Founders: William Zeqiri and Nick Miller
Year it was founded: 2015
The problem it solves: makes managing salons and spas an uncomplicated affair
Launched in 2015, Shedul’s first product is a free SaaS designed to help salons and spas around the world manage their day-to-day sales and operations. The platform’s features include managing appointment bookings, point-of-sale, customer records, inventory, and financial reporting. A second, more recent offering is Fresha.com, a revenue generating marketplace where merchants are charged a small percentage fee on top of bookings.
The startup has recently raised $20 million in Series B investment, valuing the company at $105 million.
The round was led by Paris headquartered VC Partech, with participation from Berlin-based Target Global, Dubai-based BECO Capital and New York’s FJ Labs. In addition, a personal investment was made by entrepreneur Niklas Östberg, founder and CEO of Delivery Hero.
“Since day one, we have focused on solving major challenges to make our customers happy. We spend much time talking to our customers and acting on their feedback, enhancing our platform to suit their needs. That’s how we’ve built an award-winning product that can sell itself,” explained CEO William Zeqiri.
Reinventing the business model
“It’s not only the quality of our product which gives an advantage, it’s the unbeatable accessibility our platform offers customers,” added Nick Miller, the company’s Chief of Product. “The market is highly competitive, crowded with legacy software providers who charge excessive fees to simply access their products. We’ve re-invented the business model by offering our business software totally free of charge, and instead monetise online bookings made through our marketplace. This strategy helps us consolidate the industry, building up a vast global network of merchants for our marketplace. We solved the chicken and egg problem of reaching marketplace liquidity, letting us rapidly scale and monetise the network.”
With a staggering 8 million appointments booked on its platform each month, at a value of over $270 million and growing, and growth in active merchants expanding at an average rate of 20% quarter-on-quarter, in just a few years since launch, the platform is on track to process $6 billion worth of appointment bookings by the end of 2019.
As for the investment, the company plans to use it to accelerate product development and support the ongoing worldwide rollout of its Fresha.com consumer marketplace.