AI-fuelled online beauty platform Honee raises $1.8 million in seed round led by Blackbird Ventures

For Matt Jones, the key things that led to his startup Honee’s capital raising success were persistence, perseverance, and boots on the ground.

The Melbourne-based startup offers beauty and wellness salons an online end-to-end booking service and online shopfront, and was born from the realisation that the majority of Australian salons don’t currently take bookings online. Of 10,000 salons across Sydney and Melbourne surveyed by the Honee team, less than 40% had a web presence and 0.2% of bookings were made online.

Jones and his co-founders Nicole So, Alexander Groom and Nick Chang set out to change this, and since the platform’s launch in early 2016, have signed up over 10,000 venues across Sydney and Melbourne offering more than 200,000 services.

“Salons on Honee are getting a total of around four million page views a month now from Google, but beforehand they were getting none of that,” Jones tells StartupSmart.

Jones has a history in the business-focused online listings space, having worked at Delivery Hero and Zomato. He says the idea for Honee came to him while he was still working at Zomato; at the basement of his building, there was a small salon and the owner would regularly ask Jones to “do a Zomato for my industry”.

“I found out he had paid five grand to get someone to do a website for him which ended up being a WordPress template I found online for $60,” he says.

“I realised then that these guys needed more help, with not just websites, but also business advice.” Read more

Dominic Powell - Smart Company - 13 Feb 2018

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