Budget salon aggregator Be U raises seed funding

Gingerpan Swapkart Pvt. Ltd-owned online aggregator of branded parlours, Be U Salons, has raised $600,000 (about Rs 3.9 crore) in a seed round led by Gaurav Kachru of 5ideas Superfuel Fund.

Sundeep Singh Sahni, founder, Lazada Group, and former vice-president, Ola New Initiatives; Jatin Aneja, partner, Shardul Amarchand Mangaldas; Bikramjiet Kukreja, owner of a Be U Salon outlet; and serial entrepreneur Arun Malhotra also participated in this round.

The capital will be used to strengthen the startup’s back-end operations and tech infrastructure, apart from building a talent pool and marketing its current and new stores. Be U plans to open 100 outlets across India in the current financial year.

Be U was founded in October 2016 by Vikas Johari (CEO), Shailendra Nagvani (CTO) and Jigyasa Gupta (COO). Subsequently, it started operations in December as an app-based affordable aggregator of standardised salon services.

“Around 90% of the Indian salon industry comprises standalone outlets, which lack back-end infrastructure, standardisation, technological automation, intelligent pricing, branding and marketing. We are here to provide a support ecosystem to bring them out of that crisis,” said Johari.

The salon chain has 20 outlets in Delhi-NCR and services approximately 250 customers per day.

The online on-demand beauty services segment has witnessed the emergence of a number of startups in the past one year. Horizontal home services startups, such as Housejoy and UrbanClap, also offer similar services.

In the salon aggregation space, Delhi-based Glam Studios had secured angel investments of Rs 2 crore in September last year.

The salon market is also dominated by players such as Bodycraft, JCB Salons, BBLUNT, Lakme’s salon chain, Naturals and Kaya Clinic, among others.

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