Be U Salons, A tech-enabled online aggregator of salons which is owned by the Delhi-based Gingerpan Swapkart Pvt. Ltd., has raised $600K (around 4 crore INR) in seed funding round led by Gaurav Kachru from 5 ideas Startup Superfuel and other UAE, Singapore and India-based investors.
Other investors who participated in the round includes Sundeep Singh Sahni, Founder Lazada Group and former VP Ola New Initiatives Jatin Aneja, Partner at Shardul Amarchand Mangaldas Bikramjiet Kukreja (owner of one of the first Be U Salon outlets) and Arun Malhotra, a serial entrepreneur, among others.
The raised funds will be used to further consolidate Be U’s position as one of the fastest growing tech-enabled salon chains in North India, said the company. It added that the funds would also be used to strengthen the back-end operations and tech infrastructure, build core talent and marketing of the current and new stores.
Founded in October 2016 by Vikas Johari, currently the founder & CEO of the firm, Shailendra Nagvani, Co-Founder and CTO, and Jigyasa Gupta, Co-Founder and COO, Be U Salons started its operation in December 2016, through its first outlet.
Be U operates in the B2B2C space and aims to fix the gap between the demand and supply in salon industry through both, on-ground operations and advanced technology. Customers can expect standardized services, affordable prices, trained professionals, branded products, clean and hygienic outlets and app-based transactions.
Vikas Johari, explaining about the system, said:
Around 90% of the Indian salon industry comprises standalone outlets, which lack back-end infrastructure, standardisation, technological automation, intelligent pricing, branding and marketing. We are here to provide a support ecosystem to bring them out of that crisis
Adding to that, Jigyasa Gupta said:
Today, customers expect a certain quality and pricing, at multiple levels, but finds it difficult to find a match due to the extremely unorganized and unexpected nature of this industry; Be U aims to mediate this gap. We wish to create a brand which fills the unexpectedness between the consumers and the salon owners, via trust, training, intelligent pricing and technology.
Further elaborating, Shailendra Nagvani, said:
Currently this industry works in a data vacuum, we at Be U, aim to change this and bring the data into the open, accessible to all the stakeholders involved. We are building the missing link between the salon owners, customers and salon employees, through technology; which holds the deep solutions to all of their concerns and challenges. We are excited to solve the problems of one of the oldest and largest profession on this planet – through technology.
The startup currently has around 20 operational outlets across Delhi-NCR and services approximately 250 customers per day. It also claims that it has attended to more than 15,000 customers till date. With the funding received, Be U Salons is now targeting to open over 100 outlets in FY 2017 across multiple cities in India.