July 14, 2015
Melody McCloskey might not be the most technical person in the whole world, but that hasn’t slowed her down one bit. It didn’t halt her dreams when she launched StyleSeat in 2011, and it’s not stopping her now that the platform just closed a massive Series B funding round.
Fortune reporter Susan Price wrote that StyleSeat officially raised $25 million in a round led by Fosun Kinzon Capital. There was also participation from Cowboy Ventures, Slow Ventures, and Lightspeed Venture Partners.
This wasn’t their first funding bout as they also raised an early $14 million investment from CEO and Uber founder Travis Kalanick. StyleSeat has also engaged notable celebrity investor Ashton Kutcher as well.
According to the Fortune article, Kalanick actually used to call people and tell them they were making a big mistake by not getting in on this platform early on. Clearly, he wasn’t wrong.
The new $25 million will be allocated to build out the team and add more services to StyleSeat for both consumer and beauty professional alike. To that end StyleSeat also announced that they’ll be bringing Scot Gensler on as their new VP of Business and Corporate Development.
StyleSeat is an incredibly appealing platform for independent beauty professionals. According to Price’s article, these are the people who make up the bulk of the beauty industry and rent chairs at salons. However, they still have to market themselves just like any entrepreneur would.
“I realized how many [beauty professionals] were entrepreneurs and while they were incredibly passionate about what they do, they were less interested in running businesses,” says McCloskey in Price’s article.
In that light, McCloskey and her cofounder Dan Levine built the platform to act as a pseudo assistant for these professionals. It handles everything from scheduling – which is a completely free service – to payments, taxes, and CRM – which are some of the paid-tier services on StyleSeat.
To date there are over 320,000 active professionals across 15,000 cities using the StyleSeat platform, and over 20 million appointments have been booked since McCloskey launched in 2011. In fact, she’s hopeful that StyleSeat will bring in $1 billion in appointment revenue this year alone.
“These are skilled workers, and in a sense their inventory is time, not property as with an Uber driver’s car or someone’s house on Airbnb,” says Brad Bao, Managing Partner at Fosun Kinzon, in Price’s article. “So stylists love it because it helps them better use their time and it brings them more customers.”
We had the pleasure of speaking with McCloskey at a recent Miami Sessions event where she goes into more depth about StyleSeat and the genesis behind the platform. We’ll keep you up to date on anything else StyleSeat related as they keep celebrating big wins.
Did you like this article?
Get more delivered to your inbox just like it!