Any other business

Wahanda makes another acquisition to cement European “undisputed leader” position

3 min read

05 June 2015

Former editor

Online hair and beauty marketplace Wahanda has built on a recent €42m fundraising by closing the acquisition of Dutch rival platform Treatwell, though a deal worth €34m.

The business, founded by entrepreneurs Lopo Champalimaud and Salim Mitha in 2008, has now made four European acquisitions in the last six months – with two of them featuring German business Salonmeister in October and Austrian company Beautycheck in April.

Champalimaud set up the business when he became frustrated with the inability to book a massage outside the normal opening hours of an independent salon. He was previously an executive at lastminute.com under Brent Hoberman, an entrepreneur turned investor who backed Wahanda in a seed funding deal in 2008.

Wahanda serves as a platform allowing customers to make appointments at thousands of beauty destinations such as hair salons and nail bars. The purchase of Treatwell is said to reaffirm the company’s strategic position as the “leading online hair and beauty platform” in Europe.

“The [Treatwell] team comes with a wealth of talent, some of whom we have been fortunate to have worked with in the past. Treatwell’s team includes a co-founder of JUST EAT Benelux, an ex-CFO of Booking.com and a former senior executive at Procter & Gamble, who between them have helped built Treatwell into one of the fastest-growing online marketplaces of its kind in continental Europe.”

Wahanda now has a product offering in ten different countries, and plans to use the €42m it raised from Recruit Holdings in May to support new growth in other destinations. Through that deal, Japan-based Recruit Holdings built on its ten per cent stake by purchasing an additional 70 per cent for $171m. By doing that, historial investors including Fidelity Growth Partners, Ambient Sound Investments, 14W, Lepe Partners and Hoberman himself all exited.

On the back of its latest funding deal, Wahanda took its total investments to in excess of $80m – across four rounds.

Treatwell has itself been supported by Project A Ventures and Piton Capital and has grown year-on-year by 425 per cent since a 2013 launch. It adds 2,500 spas and salons to the Wahanda platform across Netherlands, Belgium and Germany – taking total venues beyond the 15,000 mark.

Read more about marketplace businesses:

Laurens Groenendijk, co-founder and CEO of Treatwell, added: “By bringing Wahanda and Treatwell together, we have formed the undisputed leader in the European market.

“Our geographical coverage and our cutting-edge technology complement each other perfectly, as do our cultures and ambitions.”