blow LTD. is London’s leading app-based provider of FAST BEAUTY ON DEMAND (“UBER FOR BEAUTY”).
Expert blow dries, make up and nails to your door (home, office, hotel or event) or in one of our flagship beauty bars (Covent Garden or Canary Wharf). Currently serving London Zones 1,2 & 3.
Co-Founded by Fiona McIntosh (ex Editor-in-Chief of Grazia and ELLE) & Dharmash Mistry
CONVENIENT: From 7am till late. Easy booking via Mobile Apps (iOS or Android), web (www.blowltd.com) or phone. We come to you or you come to us.
CONSISTENT QUALITY: We have delivered over 70,000+ services with a consumer satisfaction score of 90%+. All of our stylists are vetted & tested at our beauty bar ‘hubs. In addition to our rigorous testing & on boarding process, all of our “on demand” professionals are insured, CRB and identity checked & registered as self-employed.
For high quality beauty professionals, we provide a PLATFORM to EARN MORE MONEY & provide MORE FLEXIBILITY. Self-manage your availability to work and accept nearby jobs via bespoke professional apps (iOS & Android).
blow LTD’s vision is to redefine the industry with a trusted & scalable platform to provide high quality beauty services wherever and whenever. Through building a trusted brand, operational processes and a technology platform we aim to make the interaction between consumer and beauty professionals more efficient.
Redefine convenience: Available wherever you want (home, hotel, office, event or in store), from 7am till late (scheduled or on demand), easy booking apps, no cash required.
Standardization of service: We deliver a consistent, multi-channel experience: fully trained employees in store and qualified freelancers on demand. Our rigorous recruitment and on boarding process results in less than 15% applicant acceptance rate. We CRB check all professionals and keep records of insurance, HMRC registration and rights to work in the UK.
Standardization of pricing: Our accessible & transparent pricing is broadly £1 per minute for each service, with discounts for multi-service bookings, groups and pre-paid packages (Fast Beauty Club).
Flexibility & more money for Professionals: Qualified professionals self-manage with their own apps. For example, they set their own availability, accept jobs with a swipe, receive location details, review earnings and receive digital tips.
Substantial accomplishments to date
blow LTD, launched in November 2013 has 2 beauty bar ‘hubs’: Covent Garden, Canary Wharf, an e-commerce platform with 70+ premium brands & an own label styling range. Launched a 2 sided beauty services marketplace for consumers and professionals in Sept 2015 – iOS, Android, web & admin backend.
-70,000+ fast beauty services delivered to date with a 90%+ customer satisfaction score & strong repeat rates.
-80,000+ monthly web visitors, 70,000+ database, 25,000+ social reach.
-20,000+ consumer app downloads, +20% month on month bookings growth in the first 6 months.
-3,000+ total services completed in February – 1 every 15 minutes on a 24 hr. clock.
-Featured in a range of publications e.g. Vogue, Tatler, Stylist, Grazia, Glamour, Guardian, FT, New York Times. Recently featured in the Apple App store.
-Number 1 google ranking for the term “beauty blog”.
-Overall revenue growth of 100% YOY (2015 vs 2014).*
-150+ qualified freelancers on the platform in London.
-An experienced and successful team who have raised over £5m to date from high profile investors & entrepreneurs including the former CEOs of Asos & Net-a-Porter amongst others.
*Unaudited management accounts
The ‘marketplace’ model is centred on the consumer paying for beauty services. We take a 40% platform commission (the professional receives 60%), which mirrors store service margins of circa 40% (but without the property costs).
Our model is ‘hub and spoke’. The stores provide credibility, low cost customer acquisition & act as an operating ‘hub’ (profit centre vs a cost). The scalability comes from the ‘digital spokes’ which deliver services (and products) on demand to serve the rest of the city (without the fixed property costs). To be able to scale to new cities and new services, our focus has been to build the brand, marketplace technology and operations centred on quality control.
We are effectively building a high quality professional sales force (in each city we expand to) which delivers high quality services & recommend products which can then be bought online. We are currently building out London (now serving Zones 1, 2 & 3) and are planning for new city roll out later this year.
Use of proceeds
Our plan is to invest to deepen our position in London and create a scalable model and marketing ‘playbook’ to roll out to multiple cities from Q1 2017, behind a further, larger financing round.
We plan to invest in 4 areas:
a) Technology – delivery of our product roadmap which includes new services, new cities and dynamic pricing; building out the team & optimizing our conversion funnel.
b) Operations (supply) – fine tune and further systematize our recruiting, on boarding, quality control and customer services process.
c) Marketing ‘playbook’ (demand) – continue to test a range of organic and paid marketing channels to optimize cost per acquisition.
d) Talent – add senior management talent and build operations in line with volumes and planned roll out.
Separately, we are currently in early stage discussion with a range of major partners (retail, brand and service chains) to explore how we might scale faster.
**Please note that the board of Blow has approved an increase in the share option pool on the closing of this funding round. The additional options will represent approximately 6% of the post-funding equity, but has not been taken into account for the purposes of the valuation above. These options have not yet been allocated and will be allocated to incentivise employees/ advisors of the company as the board sees fit.
Our core target market is “time poor, demanding women”.
Specifically, we focus on 3 core consumer segments:
a) “Polished professional”: she needs to look good (and feel confident) every day. She tends to book with us at 7am after the gym or before an important client meeting or evening event.
b) “Glamourous singleton”: we are a substitute to lipstick in the office bathroom before a girl’s night out, evening drinks or a date. This often includes wedding & group bookings.
c) “Stylish mother or homeworker”: living in affluent areas outside of the centre, she is busy with children or a deadline at home and we visit her vs her coming into the centre of town.
In addition to private clients, there is a significant Business to Business opportunity through photographic shoots, (pop up) events, corporate clients and weddings. Recent business clients include: The hospital club, Google, Battersea Power station, boohoo, All Bar One, Claire’s Accessories and Maje.
Characteristics of target market
The UK beauty market is estimated to be worth £17bn (roughly 60% product and 40% beauty services) and is forecast to continue to grow.
The beauty services market is large (circa £6bn), fragmented (50k salons) and similar in size to the Taxi/Private hire market.
British women spend more annually on beauty services (circa £1000+ per year) than on dry cleaning or their daily coffees. The market is increasingly “essential”.
We believe the beauty services market will be reshaped and digitized behind macro trends: time poverty; the ‘uberfication’ of services, the need for “essential maintenance” to look (and feel) good, and an increasingly tech savvy workforce who seek flexibility.
Our ambition is to be the leading European beauty on demand player via a distinctive model of store ‘hubs’ and service on demand ‘spokes’ enabled by scalable technology and operations.
We are currently testing marketing channels to build a ‘playbook’ to drive profitable trial and repeat in any given city. Six months in, early data suggests that our overall marketing acquisition economics will breakeven in less than 12 months, we expect this to improve as we build brand and optimise channel mix.
a) Organic: SEO (search engine optimized pages), content marketing, viral marketing (member get member scheme built into our app to share on social networks) & CRM (automated emails & push notifications to drive first booking post download, repeat , referral and cross sell store customers).
b) Performance marketing: Facebook, Instagram and google pay per click.
c) Local marketing: door drops and flyering at high density targeted location & tube advertising.
d) PR and influencer marketing.
Unlike the many small ‘agency’ players in the mobile beauty market, our approach has been focused on quality & scaling from city to city from day 1, starting with London.
We believe we are currently the leading on demand beauty services player in London, advantaged in 3 areas;
a) Strong technology (2 way market place apps, web booking and admin backend).
b) Operations centred on quality control (90%+ satisfaction, sub 15% acceptance rate, real-time data) and self-management of availability and job acceptance by qualified professionals.
c) Brand awareness and trust through our physical presence in premium locations and high quality service.
Reflected in +20% month on month growth of on demand appointments (since launch in September 2015), 20,000+ consumer app downloads in less than 6 months in London, circa 3,000 total services (on demand & in store) completed in February, high levels of customer satisfaction, significant PR coverage in premium press and a growing customer base.