September 27, 2022
Welcome back, Retail readers.
🏝 Situational awareness: Walmart is launching two metaverse spaces on Roblox, enabling users to pick up virtual merchandise, find top music artists and unlock exclusive interactive content in their virtual "isles."
1 big thing: GlossGenius gets $25M boost to expand
GlossGenius, a back-office management platform, raised $25 million to usher small beauty and wellness businesses into the digital age, Kimberly writes.
Why it matters: The beauty segment attracted about $2.94 billion from venture funds last year, per PitchBook.
- While investment has slowed this year, PitchBook says VCs are still paying up for brands that embrace technology.
What’s happening: The Series B round was co-led by Imaginary Ventures and Bessemer Venture Partners. Left Lane Capital participated.
- GlossGenius was last valued at $117 million as of May 2021, per PitchBook. The company is now more than 3x its prior valuation, the company tells Kimberly.
What’s next: Fresh funds will finance hiring and product development, CEO Danielle Cohen-Shohet says.
- New York-based GlossGenius also hopes to augment its fintech capabilities as well as to provide vertical software beyond just managing workflows.
How it works: GlossGenius supports owners of salons, spas and studios with their tech infrastructure.
- This includes payments, booking, inventory, expenses, deposits, marketing and communications.
What they’re saying: “When I think about the kind of more general purpose-built platforms, they're really not capturing a lot of the nuanced workflows that business owners have and need to fully focus on the clients,” Cohen-Shohet says.
- Back-office functions for salons and studios are industry-specific, with other platforms not accounting for nuances in actions like expense filing.
- Most studio owners manage their back offices manually. "We’re focusing on an industry that has historically lagged in technological adoption,” she says.
- “There's a lot of nuanced workflows that vertical software specifically can really help with, making sure these business owners flourish in our industry,” she adds.
By the numbers: The company has more than 40,000 businesses on its platform.
- Its revenue has increased by triple-digit percentages year over year. Cohen-Shohet declined to disclose specific revenue figures.
- GlossGenius says it has helped drive $2 billion of annualized transaction activity.
- On average, businesses can earn 25% to 100% more revenue with its platform, GlossGenius says.
- The company has raised $44 million to date.
What we’re watching: “Historically, during times of economic distress, there's even more entrepreneurship to come out of this,” Cohen-Shohet notes.
- As small businesses proliferate and entrepreneurs leverage client relationships in creative ways, GlossGenius expects its own business to grow.
- “There is a very big opportunity to think about how we can empower local service-based businesses with incredible technology solutions that larger companies have, and smaller ones should have too.”