General Atlantic leads USD100m investment in Fresha
Fresha, a beauty and wellness software platform, announced today a USD100 million Series C investment led by General Atlantic, a global growth equity firm, with strategic participation from Huda Kattan of HB Investments and the founder of Huda Beauty, as well as Michael Zeisser of FMZ Ventures, former Chairman Investments at Alibaba Group and Jonathan Green of Lugard Road Capital.
Fresha’s existing global investors Partech, Target Global and FJ Labs also participated in the round, bringing the company’s total fundraising to USD132 million to date. Fresha will leverage the new funds to further broaden its global community of partner salons and spas, scale product development, deepen its marketplace bookings and pursue strategic M&A.
Fresha allows consumers to discover, book and pay for beauty and wellness appointments with local businesses via its marketplace, while salons, spas and barbershops can leverage Fresha to manage their operations with its intuitive, subscription-free business software. The Fresha platform removes the critical pain points that service-based businesses often encounter by seamlessly facilitating the acceptance of online appointment bookings, processing of card payments and management of customer records, along with automations for marketing, staffing, product inventory and accounting, all in one place. In addition to its free offering, Fresha Plus provides partners with additional advanced features; rather than a traditional subscription model, the company collects fees on the usage of features for card payment processing and online bookings.
Fresha has amassed an extensive base of approximately 50,000 partner venues primarily spanning the United States, United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and Europe. In April 2021 alone, the company added over 4,000 new venues. The Fresha platform is used in 120 countries globally, and each month, customers book tens of millions of appointments on the platform, processing nearly USD12 billion in value to date. Fresha’s focus on building easy-to-use, free software and offering business tools without any subscription fees, underpinned by a strong word-of-mouth effect, has helped the company build a loyal following and customer base. Fresha’s partner businesses rely on the platform for its ease of use, time-saving benefits and embedded features to grow sales, while end consumers enjoy a premium booking and payment experience.
“From the day we founded Fresha, our core focus has been on offering a solution that delights our customers. That drive has continued to direct our feature development and long-term vision. The rapid growth we’re seeing comes down to having happy customers that love using Fresha,” says Fresha Founder and CEO William Zeqiri. “The Covid-19 pandemic has accelerated the transition across the globe to online bookings and integrated card payments, now seen as essential to run any modern salon or spa. In May 2021, Fresha saw a thirty-fold increase in the volume of card payments processed on the platform compared to a year earlier.”
“Legacy software offerings for beauty and wellness businesses are often expensive to purchase and difficult to use. Salons face obstacles with inefficient scheduling, resulting in low occupancy and lost sales,” says Nick Miller, Fresha Co-Founder and Chief of Product. “More than ever, beauty and wellness businesses are opting to grow sales by leveraging tools to facilitate online payments, self-service bookings and automated marketing initiatives. Fresha’s technology optimizes appointment bookings with real-time online availability and boosts local discovery, helping partner salons grow sales,” he says.
“Fresha has emerged as a leader powering the beauty and wellness industry,” says Aaron Goldman, Global Co-Head of Financial Services and Managing Director at General Atlantic. “William, Nick and the Fresha team have built a product that is resonating with the market and creating long-term value through the intersection of its payments, software and marketplace offerings. We are thrilled to be partnering with the company and believe Fresha has significant opportunity to further scale its innovative platform.”
Huda Kattan shares her excitement at investing in the company: “I’ve witnessed first-hand the positive impact Fresha has for beauty entrepreneurs. The company is a force for good in the growing community of beauty professionals around the globe, who are increasingly adopting a self-employed approach. By making top business software accessible without any subscription fees, Fresha lets professionals focus on what they do best – offering great experiences for their customers.”
“We believe Fresha outpaces the competition by combining a superior product-market fit with outstanding execution capabilities,” says Philippe Collombel, General Partner at Partech. “William and Nick superbly steered Fresha during the Covid-19 pandemic. They have continued to innovate, accelerate signups of new salons, and boost revenues, whilst supporting new venues and small businesses in navigating the crisis. We can’t wait to see Fresha’s continued growth after this new funding round and are thrilled to partner once again with General Atlantic,” he says.
Previously, Fresha raised Series B investment from Paris-based Partech, along with Series A and Seed investments from Dubai-based MEVP. Launched in 2015 and with headquarters in London, the company is backed by investors from New York City, Silicon Valley and Europe.