Before founding Shedul, a free booking platform for hair salons and spas, New Zealand natives William Zeqiri and Nick Miller, were on different career paths.
In Dubai, Miller was with the Embassy of New Zealand before moving into branding, while Zeqiri worked at Dubai Holding, launching some 15 start-ups and arranging angel investing. The need for a last-minute haircut before a trip to Nepal in 2015, however, changed their course.
“We booked our hotel, our flights, our tours…it was 8 pm and I needed a haircut,” Zeqiri recounted. “It was really difficult to book a haircut online.” They realized they had managed to book everything in a country that hadn’t yet set foot in, but couldn’t for a haircut in the city they were currently in.
After their trip Miller and Zeqiri looked into the beauty industry, discovering it was worth trillions of dollars globally. The duo came up with a minimum viable product idea to add value to existing salons. They created a startup, Shedul, to put the idea into effect. Recently, the company announced a Series A round of $6 million. The round was led by Dubai’s Middle East Venture Partners and Beco Capital, along with San Francisco’s Lumia Capital. The team had initially set out to raise $4 million.
Shedul enables salons and spas to streamline their operations by fielding customers’ bookings online, managing employees, and recording finances. On the customer end, the platform allows users to book an appointment at a nearby subscribing business and also keep track of purchases and services.
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