Booksy, an app that enables appointment-based businesses such as hairdressers and beauty salons to take online bookings and operate other aspects of their business, has closed $4.2 million in Series A funding.
The round was led by OpenOcean, with participation from Australian company builder and early-stage investor Investible, Poland’s Nomad Fund, Kai Hansen (ex-Lieferando), Apostolos Apostolakis, and Rafal Plutecki (Head of Google Campus, Poland).
The new capital will be used by Booksy to invest in further functionality, such as “allowing in-app payments, enabling larger merchants to handle personnel through the software, and the development of better reporting systems”.
Booksy can be thought of as a Software-as-a-Service for appointment-based businesses to enable them to handle their customer-facing schedules, including being able to take and accept bookings via the Booksy mobile app.
The idea, for example, is that a barber will wean its customers off making bookings over the phone or in-person and instead point them to the Booksy app or website.
The upside isn’t just a more convenient booking process for both customers and the business owner, but also increased engagement. Booksy co-founder and CEO Stefan Batory tells me adoption of the app has been shown to improve customer loyalty and frequency of bookings. Part of the reason for this is simple: by using Booksy, businesses are able to accept bookings outside of working hours for the first time.
“Most of them work with their hands, so they can’t answer phone calls when they have clients in and don’t want to answer them when out of work,” says Batory. “On the other hand, clients want to book appointments 24×7 (up to 60 per cent of appointments are made outside of working hours of our businesses). We help both sides to take the hassle out of that process and book when it’s convenient for clients and at the same time, make life easier for businesses”.
In addition to scheduling, Booksy provides businesses with a number of other features designed to support and enhance their processes, such as a CRM, marketing automation, inventory management, point-of-sales, reports, the management of commission for employees, and (soon) in-app payments.
Unlike competitors, however, Booksy isn’t a marketplace and, therefore, doesn’t get paid per booking. Instead, its SaaS model sees it charge a simple monthly subscription, with a number of tiers dependent on the size of the business.
“We have local competitors on every market,” explains Batory. These include StyleSeat in the U.S., Treatwell in the U.K., Vaniday in Brazil, and LadyTime in Poland. “They are all marketplaces and charge for appointments. That discourages businesses to push their clients to these platforms. They are happy to do it with Booksy though, because they know we will not send their clients elsewhere, to monetise that”.
Along with Batory, Booksy’s other co-founder is Konrad Howard. I’m told the two previously founded and built iTaxi into the number one Taxi-hailing app in Poland. Prior to this, Batory listed his first software company Eo Networks on the Polish stock exchange.