Be U Salons, an Asset-Light Tech Enabled Salon Chain, a part of the Delhi-based Gingerpan Swapkart, announced today that it has raised Rs 4 crore (US$600k) from a consortium of investors from UAE, Singapore and India.
The fund raise was led by Gaurav Kachru from 5 ideas Startup Superfuel and has received participations from 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.
Be U was founded in October 2016 by Vikas Johari who is the Founder & CEO of the firm, Co-Founder and CTO, Shailendra Nagvani and Co-Founder and COO, Jigyasa Gupta. The Salon Chain 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.
The chain currently has 20 outlets operating across Delhi-NCR and services approximately 250 customers per day. It has attended to more than 15,000 customers till date. Be U Salons now aims to open over 100 outlets in FY 2017 across multiple cities in India. The raised funds will be used to further consolidate Be U’s position as one of the fastest growing tech enabled salon chain in North India. It would also be used to strengthen the back-end operations and tech infrastructure, build core talent and marketing of the current and new stores.
Speaking on the occasion, Vikas Johari, CEO and Founder, Be U Salons and a serial entrepreneur with multiple successful exits, commented, “Around 90% of the Indian salon industry comprises of standalone outlets, where most of them suffer from lack of a back-end infrastructure, standardization, technological automation, intelligent pricing, branding and marketing, amongst many others. We are here to provide a support ecosystem to bring them out of the crisis.”
Jigyasa Gupta, Co-Founder and COO, Be U Salons, also reiterated, “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.”
“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.” Says Shailendra Nagvani, Co-Founder and CTO, an IIT Roorkee alumnus.
A KPMG Wellness Sector report released in November 2016 projected that the size of India’s beauty and wellness market would nearly double to Rs 80,370 cr by 2017-18 from Rs 41,224 cr in 2012-13. Technavio’s analysts forecast the Professional Salon Care market in India to grow at a CAGR of 27.07 per cent over the period 2013-2018. These figures corroborate the fact that this market has immense potential.