Seedrs alumni, beauty on demand company blow LTD., has received a substantial investment from UK retail brand Debenhams of $10 million for a minority stake in the firm. Blow Ltd. raised £1.3 million from over 300 investors via equity crowdfunding platform Seedrs in June 2016 with a further follow on round in February 2017.
Additionally, Seedrs shareholders have been given the opportunity to sell shares as part of a secondary share deal. Early Seedrs investors have been offered an exit opportunity at up to 3x their purchase share price.
The valuation of blow LTD. has increased more than 5x since the first crowdfunding round on Seedrs.
The platform reports that a small number of investors have taken advantage of the option to exit the majority of blow LTD. shareholders have decided not to sell any shares believing that there is a great deal more growth to come from blow LTD.
“I am excited to announce our partnership with blow LTD. The step is a strategic move which ties into multiple facets of our Debenhams Redesigned strategy.,” said Debenhams CEO, Sergio Bucher. “This will allow us to scale up our Beauty Services offer rapidly and bring brands closer to customers both in store and in their own homes. Blow LTD.’s exclusive presence in Debenhams stores will give customers even more reasons to visit us and the digital app booking service fits with our aim to offer customers a seamless mobile experience. Through partnering with blow LTD. Debenhams can adopt an entrepreneurial approach to a growing market, acquiring external expertise with flexibility and low overhead commitments.”
For Debenhams the exclusive UK partnership enables the company to accelerate its presence in the £4 billion Beauty Services market, an ambition set out in its Debenhams Redesigned strategy in April. Debenhams’ minority stake comes with a seat on the Board of Directors of blow LTD.
The new investment should provide blow LTD. a disruptive proposition in the large but fragmented beauty services market via a tech-enabled premium service provider. The partnership will also create a new distribution channel for the department store whereby beauty services and treatments can now be booked to take place at home, as well as in dedicated beauty bars in Debenhams stores.
The two companies will also allow beauty brands to forge closer relationships with customers via Debenhams’ in-home services and sampling.
The first three blow LTD. “beauty bars,” offering blow dry, make up and nail services, will launch in Debenhams’ Oxford Street, Birmingham Bull Ring and Manchester stores this Autumn, with more sites following shortly.
Blow LTD. reports that their tech-enabled curated marketplace has already experienced rapid growth, delivering over 150,000 beauty services, with over 300+ vetted professionals yielding a satisfaction score of more than 95%. To date, blow LTD. has secured other investment from Unilever Ventures. It also has exclusive partnerships with brands such as L’Oréal Kérastase.
Debenhams’ is described as having the market-leading position in the Premium Beauty market. Debenhams has inked agreements that include exclusive launches of Kat Von D and Make Up Forever and In August Debenhams announced celebrity TV presenter, Alesha Dixon, as its ambassador for Beauty with activity to raise awareness of its Beauty Club loyalty scheme which has over 1.2m members.
Dharmash Mistry, Chairman and Co-founder of blow LTD. said the partnership will allow blow to “turbo charge growth.”
“This move accelerates our ambition to bring expert beauty services to customers in key regional cities across the UK, either in their homes or in Debenhams stores. We are excited to join forces with Debenhams to reinvent the fragmented, multi-billion pound beauty services market.”
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