We are thrilled to announce our recent investment in Watalook, a game-changing platform that caters to the needs of independent beauty professionals. As the creator economy continues to thrive and disrupt traditional business models, Watalook is at the forefront of this trend in the beauty industry.
For several years, we have observed a shift in how consumer services businesses operate. The non-flexible, centralized, traditional employee model has been slowly outpaced by the creative, independent worker model, which some have dubbed the “creator economy.” The democratization of software means it’s become possible for individuals to monetize their skills without the umbrella of an employer. They have obtained the freedom to operate a business of their own instead of working for a company brand. Such empowering technologies have solved many creators' frustration, and beauty is no exception. Why so?
Several favorable winds brought the independent model to the beauty service industry. The most obvious and frequently underlined push factor is the wish for individuals to be the stewards of their own working lives, including their daily schedule and earnings. Additional fundamental shifts are accelerating this trend, driven not only by the individuals themselves but also by the structures that used to employ them:
All of the above led to this major shift in the beauty industry in terms of business models and operations. Shying away from the traditional brick & mortar model, more and more independent beauty workers subscribe to “salon islands,” or coworking spaces for beauticians to rent chairs and operate their own businesses. In fact, the number of independent beauty workers using salon islands has jumped from 10% to 70% since 2012.
Yet, to shift from being an employee to being a business owner requires new tools to handle bookings, clients data, cash flows, working capital and personal branding.
Hence aspiring independent workers are craving a digital companion to help their businesses flourish. Yet if the tool-in-the-box model for independent workers has developed at a rapid pace in the US, the European market is just at its early start. And that's what gave rise to Watalook and the experts behind the company.
Existing offers fail to answer the new requirements of today’s beauty services standards:
In sum, Watalook’s platform effectively addresses the needs of three different user groups. Of course, creating a new category for our users will not be an easy feat, but we believe they are ready for better innovation than “another marketplace.”
We also see a good match with the expertise available in our byFounders Collective, meaning we can provide just the proper guidance for the two founders, Klaudijus and Justas, to soar to new heights. Having worked together for years in operationally challenging industries and always finding the hacks to grow efficiently, we are thrilled to bring extra fuel to this double-engine team. Founder market fit and hustle define the Watalook team, which is why we’re sure you’ll fall in love with them too. So, please welcome this explosive Lithuanian duo!