Bookwell, a booking platform for beauty and wellness services, has raised $1.25 million in a funding round led by Catch Group founders Gabby and Hezi Leibovich, with participation from investors including Lux Group founders Jeremy Same and Adam Schwab.
Founded by Nathan Airey and Matt Dyer, who previously launched restaurant delivery business EatNow, the startup launched last September with an initial $2.6 million in seed funding from Schwab and other investors.
Providing businesses in the beauty and wellness industry with calendar management software and consumers an easy way to search for and book services, since launch it has brought on over 1,000 service providers across Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Perth, Adelaide, and the Gold Coast, and acquired competitor Vaniday Australia.
According to Dyer, the fresh funding will go towards building out the Bookwell team, with a focus on product development and sales as the startup looks to develop new features and build out the number and variety of service providers on the platform.
“It validates our perception that there is a need for the Bookwell booking platform in the Australian market, and we are all really enthusiastic about Bookwell’s future. Australians spend more than $10 billion a year on the services we are targeting, so there’s huge scope for growth,” Dyer said.
Hezi Leibovich, who was an investor in EatNow and enjoyed a successful exit after the merged EatNow/Menulog entity was acquired by British outfit Just Eat for $855 million in 2015, said he is confident in Bookwell’s founders.
“Matt was able to grow EatNow from a mere concept to a successful business in five short years…we invested in that venture and it paid off, and we can see the same thing happening now,” he said.
Bookwell is just one of the startups operating in the beauty and wellness space to help salons and service providers manage bookings and customers find and book appointments.
Among the other players is New Zealand’s Flossie, which recently launched in Melbourne. Launched in Auckland three years ago, Flossie quickly expanded around New Zealand with NZ$4.3 million in funding, bringing on 45,000 customers across 450 vetted salons and growing 20 percent month on month to reach $2.5 million in annualised sales.
Meanwhile, Blackbird Ventures-backed Honee is also looking to this market. Cofounded by Delivery Hero and Zomato alum Matt Jones, the startup provides salons with a bookings system called HoneeComb, and actionable feedback on their performance through a chatbot called Nectar.
Nectar analyses data around venue and staff performance, customer feedback, and sales to provide business owners with insights around the performance of their salon on-demand, for example how much they made in a particular day or what kind of customer feedback they have received.
Image: Matt Dyer and Nathan Airey.