The European beauty and wellness trades are dominated by small establishments that often have fewer than three employees. Additionally, the share of self-employment in these sectors is two to ten times higher than in the whole of the economy.
A staggering number of these European salons are still relying on pen and paper to manage their bookings. While 52% of salon appointment bookings happen between 5 PM to 9 AM, salons not using online booking or booking apps are most likely to lose potentially tens of thousands of euros in a year for appointments that are left empty. In addition to the lost income, being available to pick up the phone stops your workflow with clients and adds the stress of being constantly available around your phone.
While the smaller salons lose out on clients and of course the moolah, there exists a larger number of corporate competitors which require customers to commit to lengthy contracts with vague compounding cost structures.
Enter Helsinki-based Book Salon. Just six months after raising its previous €1 million seed round, the payment and booking service provider specialising in hair, beauty, and wellness companies, has raised a €3 million funding. The round was led by Joint Effects and saw the participation of previous investor Big Bets VC. The funding will be used for European expansion with the first targets being the Nordics, the U.K., Ireland, Spain and Italy.
The startup provides entrepreneurs with a full suite of modern tools to run a successful business. The platform offers payment terminals and a payment processing service, in addition to its website builder, online booking systems, and cash and accounting reports.
Harri Myllylä, CEO, Book Salon said: “We aim to disrupt the current Payment Service Provider (PSP) market, and the hair, beauty, and wellness sector is our first target. We believe that PSPs need to go beyond providing payment processing services. We also provide access to industry-specific value-adding services and tools that help the entrepreneurs save time, effort, and money.”
So, what new does the platform bring to the table? The company offers its platform to salons and entrepreneurs for free with the option to upgrade to a paid package with an unlimited number of users. This approach makes it uniquely accessible, profitable and transparent for micro-entrepreneurs.
Tuomo Vuolteenaho, president, Joint Effects said: “The global vertical software market will be growing and Book Salon is perfectly positioned in their chosen segment. There are tremendous growth opportunities in the beauty and wellness sector in vertical expansion such as microfinancing, banking services, integrated bookkeeping and many more.”