Does Blow Ltd’s Rapid Growth Signal The End of Beauty Salons?

  • blow LTD reveals that 50% of booked services are outside of salon operating hours
  • Launches £1.5m funding round on Seedrs, led by Unilever Ventures, in advance of a large institutional round
  • Planning European launch in 2020

New data from blow LTD, the UK’s leader in expert beauty services to home, has shown that half of all its services booked are outside the traditional salon hours of 9am to 5pm, and 60% of those appointments are multi-service, such as hair and nails, indicating the traditional salon-led beauty industry is struggling to compete with tech-led on-demand services.

Just as tech-enabled food delivery and taxi services have transformed their respective industries, consumers now expect the same speed and convenience from the £15 billion UK beauty services industry. Instead of booking single services in several different salons during traditional salon hours, busy women are demanding the convenience of booking multiple services to their door at a time and place that suits them.

blow LTD is leading this disruption of the beauty services market, delivering 360,000 expert beauty services to date. Averaging 15,000 treatments per month, there are 1.7 blow LTD services delivered every minute. The Business has expanded its service offer to 50 different treatments, including blow dries, makeup, nails, massages, lashes, waxing, facials and spray tans and is now available in Greater London, Manchester and Birmingham. Offering beauty services from 7am to 10pm, seven days a week and at two hours’ notice, the company is delivering a level of convenience far beyond the reach of traditional salons.

The tech-enabled business has developed a unique in-app consultation data collection tool which blow LTD beauty professionals use to gather information about every customer, including beauty habits, preferred services, products used in service and hair and skin types. As a result, blow LTD can create a super-personalised experience for each customer and offer personalised product recommendations.

Launched by co-founders Dharmash Mistry (Venture Capitalist & Entrepreneur) and Fiona McIntosh (former Editor-in-Chief of Grazia and Elle) in November 2013, blow LTD is the UK’s one-stop beauty app for all of a customer’s beauty needs. With a unique multi-channel model (including physical store “hubs” and on-demand services across London), customers can book and rate professionals via mobile apps or online around the clock.

The Company also announces today a £1.5 million funding round on leading investment platform Seedrs. The round is led by blow LTDs existing investor, Unilever Ventures, which has invested £800,000, and is in advance of a larger institutional round. Unilever Ventures is the venture capital and private equity arm of Unilever, which invests in young, promising companies in the personal care and digital sectors. Proceeds from this fundraise will be used to deepen its penetration in the UK and prepare a European launch, planned for 2020.

Stephen Willson, Investment Director at Unilever Ventures, commented: blow Ltd is re-inventing the way consumers and beauty professionals connect with one another. Powered by rich data and spanning multiple service and product offerings, we believe blow Ltd is ideally positioned to continue leading the exciting shake-up of the multi-billion-pound beauty services industry into the digital age.”

blow LTD’s CEO Jo Thompson, said: “In recent years we have seen a dramatic rise in the expectations of consumers as they have grown accustomed to a better kind of user experience due to consumer-focused apps like Uber and Deliveroo. The beauty industry has lagged behind others in catching up with this trend, but we are confident that our quality convenience offer positions us to be the go-to destination for all beauty needs that can fit into a consumer’s lifestyle, not around it.” 

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