Interviews

Salon marketplace Wahanda raises further €65m and closes French acquisition

3 min read

17 June 2015

Former editor

Wahanda’s mission to cement its presence as a leading force in the European online hair and beauty booking space has seen it snap up French rival ZenSoon.

The deal comes on the back of the company’s recent purchase of Dutch competitor Treatwell, meaning it has now made five acquisitions since founding in 2008.

To support the deal, Wahanda has returned to existing investor, and part-owner, Recruit to secure €65m (£47m) on top of the €42m banked in May. The new capital will be for investment into development in France, Spain, Italy and Benelux, while the previous fundraise is for the UK and German markets.

Set up by Lopo Champalimaud in 2008 after he grew frustrated at the difficulty in booking a massage out of hours, Wahanda now has over 15,000 European spas and salons on its platform and is reportedly growing at 300 per cent a year.

“France is a vitally important strategic market for us as we continue to drive forward our plans to build a world-class platform and transform the way people book their hair and beauty appointments globally,” Champalimaud said.

“The hair and beauty market in France alone is worth €11bn, with over 100,000 spas and salons. With limited funding, ZenSoon, through their truly entrepreneurial spirit, have achieved incredible growth and positioned themselves as a major player in the French market.”

Read more about recent acquisitions:

The Series E funding deal backed by Recruit means Wahanda has now closed five investment rounds – having started with a €2m seed transaction in 2008 and moved on to a Series B worth €6.29m in 2011, €20.6m Series C in October 2014 and €42m Series D in May 2015.

Explaining why she decided to sell her business to Wahanda and Champalimaud, ZenSoon co-founder and MD Mallory Sia said she and the team shared in Wahanda’s vision of the hair and beauty market and the “huge potential” to disrupt the industry for the better.

Fellow co-founder Marie Sermadiras added: “Wahanda not only has a fantastic team with a real sense of purpose, but it also has the most advanced technical tools and financial means to deliver that vision, and we are excited to be playing our part in that.”

Going forward, Wahanda now has a presence in ten countries and will be targeting new European territories in the coming months.