A turning point for books – How Booksy grew from a small startup to 13 million customers
The world of business and commerce was turned upside down in March 2020 when the COVID-19 pandemic sent employees home and shut down many businesses – some, unfortunately, for good. While you’d be forgiven for thinking everything was pessimistic, a few innovative brands have managed to not only survive, but thrive positively during what has been one of the darkest days for business in most of our lives. . One of these companies is based in Chicago Booksy.
At the antipodes of innovation
Founded in 2014 by Polish entrepreneurs Stefan Batory and Konrad Howard, Booksy is an appointment scheduling and management system created for the hairdressing and beauty industry. The platform and app simplify appointment scheduling by allowing customers to quickly and easily make and manage appointments through a mobile phone app. The platform also offers unique and innovative features to salon owners, including salon management, staff coordination, sales and marketing, as well as payment and prepayment, all through the app and the Booksy’s user-friendly interface. The founders of Booksy claim that using the software increases appointment frequency by 20%, providing a much-needed boost to besieged salons.
In just seven short years, Booksy has grown stratospheric and now has 13 million customers in several countries, including the US, UK, Poland, Spain, Brazil and South Africa. Stefan Batory explains how it all started: “I needed to set aside time with my massage therapist, but I was trying to reach him after my long runs, which usually happened in the middle of the night. Being CEO, husband, dad, and runner meant I got creative when running – usually after midnight. My therapist would answer me in the middle of the morning, when I was in a back-to-back meeting. This phone and text tag went on for several days and I still couldn’t get in to see it. Through all of this back and forth, I realized there had to be a better way to make an appointment. We do most of the rest of our life online, so why can’t we make appointments for things like stylists, massage therapists, nails… any personal care activity the same? “
It seems that many of Booksy’s customers can relate to Batory’s ideology, as figures show 38% of its customers now make appointments outside of normal working hours.
Pay more than lip service
As Booksy progresses, even a global pandemic cannot stop its progress and the dynamic duo recently raised a staggering $ 119 million Series C funding from Cat Rock Capital and Sprints Capital (with participation from OpenOcean, Piton Capital , VNV Global, Enem, Kai Hansen, Zach Coelius and Manta Ray Ventures). Batory said: “As with many sectors negatively affected by the pandemic, the beauty and wellness industry has had a turbulent time, but we are confident in its ability to come out of it, so it’s fantastic to seeing our latest group of investors share our optimism and our vision. “
This new global funding will allow Booksy to reach new heights – and new territories, including North America, as well as expand the business into new verticals and complementary businesses. Commenting on the collaboration, Cat Rock Capital Founder and Managing Partner Alex Captain said, “We are extremely excited to invest in Booksy as it creates the world’s leading software platform to digitize the world. beauty and wellness industry in the world. Based in Greenwich, London, Cat Rock Capital is a leading provider of investment advisory and portfolio management services.
This new round of investment is the latest in a series of triumphs for Booksy. In 2018, the brand acquired one of its main competitors, Lavito, a service reservation platform. Additionally, in 2020, Booksy crossed the Mexican border through a merger with Tempe-based service and management platform, Versum. Booksy’s new investments and collaborative efforts have seen the brand take a lead over competitors such as U.S.-based Treatwell, Vagaro, Mindbody and Styleseat. Co-founder and partner of Piton Capital, Andrin Bachmann said of the new investment: “We are delighted to support Stefan and the whole team at Booksy once again. They are starting to see the benefits of a strong network effect, and we believe they have the opportunity to create the first SaaS-enabled marketplace in the beauty industry in the US and beyond.
Look to the future now – it’s only just beginning
While, for now, the founders of Booksy remain tight-lipped on any new projects for 2022, the company’s upward trajectory shows no signs of slowing down, and we will be following this success story closely as we move into the New Year. .