Raising Finance

Former Grazia editor takes “Uber for beauty” to Seedrs for crowdfunding investment

4 min read

04 May 2016

Former deputy editor

Blow – dubbed the “Uber for beauty” – has been taken to equity crowdfunding platform Seedrs by co-founder Fiona McIntosh, the former Grazia editor-in-chief, which will open up funding opportunities to customers and investors alike.

Capital generated from the exclusive round will be used to expand the online-centric fast beauty service provider outside of its native London and across the UK.

Blow was launched in November 2013 by McIntosh, the former editor-in-chief for Grazia and ELLE, while her beauty experience was further enhanced as a consultant for Grazia publisher Mondadori.

Meanwhile, co-founder and experienced venture capitalist Dharmash Mistry previously held partner status at Balderton Capital and was group MD of consumer at EMAP. He’s also held posts with P&G, Hargreaves Lansdown and Dixons.

The app-based business allows customers to connect with beauty specialists, booking everything from blow dries, make-up and nails at a location of their choosing, whether that’s home, office, a hotel or event in London Zones 1,2 and 3.

However, unlike Uber, Blow also has a fixed bricks and mortar presence to bring in customers with beauty bars in Covent Garden and Canary Wharf. The business claims that multi-channel approach of physical and on-demand makes it unique, but also simple for professionals and consumers.

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More than 70,000 bookings have been completed to date and Blow boasts a 90 per cent customer satisfaction measurement.

“In an increasingly time-starved society where appearance matters more than ever, blow LTD is a best in class beauty service for every busy woman. Whether it’s an early morning meeting, wedding, party, surprise date night, or you’re a mum with young children, who finds it almost impossible to escape the house, we’ve designed the ultimate on demand beauty service,” said McIntosh.

“blow LTD fits in effortlessly into a busy working life and through Seedrs, we can extend our relationship with our loyal customers and continue to build advocacy.”

Packages offered by the business start at £30 a person, while an additional revenue stream is created by a range of more than 1,000 beauty products on sale – both in-store and in-app.

Mistry added that more than 150 professional partners using the service are vetted or trained in Blow’s beauty bars. He believes that services on demand through mobile is the next step, following on from media on demand and products on demand.

Jeff Lynn, founder and CEO at Seedrs, concluded: “I think blow LTD is doing an amazing job of changing the beauty industry to reflect the 21st century working landscape, and the dedication and experience that Dharmash and Fiona bring to the business bodes well in my mind for its continued rapid growth.”

Lynn first came to hear of the business when an investor told him how much of a Blow fan she was, which prompted him to investigate. Seedrs announced this year that more than £100m has been invested on the platform since July 2012.

With beauty in mind, beware of the the risks surrounding short skirts and grey hair for Britain’s bosses.