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Dubai wellness start-up raises $6m financing

DUBAI, June 11, 2017

Dubai-based start-up Shedul.com, a free booking platform and the world's fastest-growing software for salons and spas, has closed a $6 million round of Series-A financing.

The round was led by Dubai-based Middle East Venture Partners (MEVP) and backed by Dubai's BECO Capital and San Francisco-based Lumia Capital. The new round of funding follows an earlier seed round also lead by MEVP.

Launched in 2015, the platform streamlines small- and medium-sized business operations with intuitive, free-to-use software. Shedul.com takes the hassle out of running a business by managing appointment bookings, point-of-sale, customer records, human resources, inventory, and financial reporting, a statement said.

In less than two years, Shedul.com has quietly signed up a vast user base of over 40,000 merchants in more than 120 countries, most of who learned about the platform by word of mouth. Over half of Shedul.com users are in the US, followed by the UK, Canada, and Australia.

Millions of bookings are made on the platform each month, and growing at an average rate of 35 per cent month-on-month. The platform is well on track to process over $1 billion worth of appointment bookings by the end of 2017, according to the statement.

Co-founder and CEO William Zeqiri said: "Good free software spreads quickly. We're solving a critical pain point for small businesses by redefining how they engage with customers through technology."

Zeqiri and co-founder Nick Miller, the company's COO, conceived of the idea on a last-minute trip to Nepal. The native New Zealanders booked their flights and hotels online, for a country they hadn't stepped foot in, without any trouble. But just before their departure, Zeqiri realized he needed a haircut. "I couldn't find anything last-minute in my own city" he recalled.

The reason, Shedul's co-founders discovered, was that software offerings for salons and spas are often expensive to purchase and difficult to use. As a result, the majority of businesses operate without any software at all: 52 per cent of salons in the US still manage their bookings with pen and paper.

With Shedul.com, gains in efficiency lead to greater customer retention and frequency, Miller explained. "We have merchants who have over 80 per cent of their bookings made online by customers," he said. "The convenience factor increases customer engagement and directly results in more revenue to the merchant."

Walid Mansour, managing partner at MEVP, said: "Shedul.com is a truly global success story and a testament to Dubai's emergence as a centre for innovation and technology" he said.

The founders said they plan to use the funds from the recent round of financing to scale their operations and expand product development. – TradeArabia News Service




Tags: Spa | Financing | wellness | booking site |

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