To say that health and beauty appointment booking platforms have just emerged since the pandemic began would suggest one’s had their head in the sand for over a decade. For years numerous companies have been chasing the large but often elusive salon market opportunity. And why? Because a missed appointment or an empty chair is so perishable. Once it is gone, it is gone for good.
We remember well when, about a decade ago, friend of Localogy (and current Mastercard exec) David Galvan was working with the team at Schedulicity. Fast forward to 2021 and we learn that Booksy has raised $70 million in a C round. For its part, Schedulicity bootstrapped for many years before it started taking investor money. Since 2018 the company has raised $50 million in venture money. And of course, there is Mindbody. The heavyweight in the wellness booking space went private in 2018 via a $1.9 billion deal with PE firm Vista Equity Partners.
Booking Will Proliferate in Local
There are dozens of appointment booking engines out there. The pandemic has, of course, made these platforms more important than ever. So we’re not surprised that Booksy took on the $70 million round to accelerate its growth. This latest round brings its running total raised to almost $120 million.
Some might put Booksy in the beauty marketplace. We don’t really see the marketplace aspect, even though you can buy products, which can drive 15% to 25% of topline revenue. Booksy’s core competency is finding, scheduling, and managing appointments. What Booksy does — like other scheduling solutions — is grant appointment book access to customers.
This is how modern consumers, who live their lives on the phones, expect to make appointments. While appointment booking has been happening for some time in the beauty sector, we fully expect open booking will proliferate throughout the local space. Think chiropractors, dentists, auto repair shops, pet grooming, massage therapists, even lawyers. The list is endless.
Booking Around the Clock
Booksy was founded in 2014 by two Polish entrepreneurs — Stefan Batory and Konrad Howard. Batory has done a number of other ventures in the local space, including a classified business and a taxi-hailing business. Here’s an interview of Batory. What’s interesting about opening up the booking app is that it allows customers to book appointments when the salon is closed. As such, what Booksy has found is that almost 40% of customers book appointments after-hours.
Though the company launched in Poland, it operates in the UK, Spain, Brazil, South Africa, and, of course, its largest market, the U.S. The company claims to have 13 million consumers on the app. It also claims to be the number one beauty app in each country it operates in. We cannot verify these claims.
Booksy’s Series C round was led by Cat Rock Capital with participation from Sprints Capital, OpenOcean, Piton Capital, VNV Global, Enern, Kai Hansen, Zach Coelius, and Manta Ray Ventures.
Batory said the following in a statement. “Like with many sectors negatively hit by the pandemic, it’s been a turbulent time for the beauty and wellness industry but we’re confident in its ability to come back from this, so it’s fantastic to see our latest group of investors share our optimism and vision. This latest round of funding enables us to reach even more salons and service providers across the US, and in all the regions we operate, which in turn helps them reach more customers.”
We anticipate even more money will flow into platforms like Booksy as the modern consumer demands local and small businesses to operate in a digital forward fashion. We expect private equity concerns to fuel much of this development in the coming months and years.