Tuesday 22 August 2017

Like Just Eat or Hassle, but for beauty salons

Beutifi.com is a discovery site for beauty salons Photo: Depositfiles
Beutifi.com is a discovery site for beauty salons Photo: Depositfiles
Sarah McCabe

Sarah McCabe

Richard Spence is the founder of Beutifi.com, a new way for beauty salons to reach customers.

Spence previously worked for Cartrawler, helping the company grow from startup to a giant in the car hire software business. He left to found his own company in 2014. Beutifi colleague Paul McGaley is the industry expert, having spent 26 years at L'Oreal. Advisors include former L'Oreal Professionnel commercial director Ivan Bishoff.

Beutifi allows customers to search for salons across Ireland and the UK, and processes bookings on their behalf. It can also create websites for salons who do not have an online presence.

"It's a discovery site, like Just Eat or Booking.com," said Spence. "Only around 30pc of salons are online. Many of them are run by owner/managers, who don't have time to work on developing an online presence for the business. We are trying to move the industry online in an affordable way."

Salons signed up in Ireland include the Style Club chain (part of the Peter Mark group). The business gained around 1,000 salon customers in the UK with the recent purchase of British company SalonAddict and will launch in the UK under the Beutifi label in the second half of the year.

Beutifi expects to process around €10m in services this year. "Salons' full capacity is not used about 35pc of the time," says Spence. "Groupon and daily deals sites sought to solve that but it turned into a race to the bottom."

Beutifi is currently fundraising, aiming to raise €550,000 by April, including investment from Enterprise Ireland as part of its High Potential Start-Up programme.

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