Libersy, an Amsterdam-based startup that we first covered in March 2007, closed a €1.2 Million round of financing this week. Investors include Shamrock Ventures, Value Creation & Company, Reof and Technofonds Flevoland. The company had previously raised €400k in a series of angel rounds.
Libersy, along with competitor Genbook, provide an easy, embeddable booking solution for small service providers. It allows small businesses like doctors, dentists, hair salons, plumbers, etc. to take bookings online instead of just over the phone. Libersy takes a small cut of every transaction, and will also launch a services portal to generate new customer leads for participating businesses.
It’s a bottom up approach to a huge potential market. But it could take years to build a decent customer base. Meanwhile, Google or others could jump in and grab significant market share.
In some ways the business model is similar to the massively funded, IPO-track Rearden Commerce from Silicon Valley. However, Rearded is aggregative major services for business travelers under a single portal. They are beginning to spread out to other services as well, and eventually they will converge with services like Libersy.