Kiwi beauty technology start-up Flossie has partnered with some of the world’s largest hair and beauty brands as it prepares to launch an innovative new software service in the UK. A universal booking software layer that enhances and modernises existing salon management software systems. Powered by Flossie helps salons’ own websites convert online bookings faster, without having to switch providers.
The service was launched in 2012 by Jenene Crossan and Steve Torrance, as a mobile marketplace booking app to help customers request, book and pay for beauty appointments. By 2016 it became the first integrated beauty marketplace globally, pulling data from a cross-section of salon management providers (choosing to not enter the calendar system race, but remain agnostic).
The move marks the evolution of the seven-year-old company from an online beauty marketplace, matching customers with beauty services, to an agnostic software service provider of user experience (UX) solutions.
“Powered by Flossie” will enter the NZ$ 6.5 billion UK hair and beauty services market in July, when its first London-based clients will begin using the software for booking appointments via their own web properties.
The technology underpinning Flossie’s successful beauty booking apps has been spun off to create ‘Powered by Flossie;’ real-time, flexible, front-end software that integrates with the existing salon systems, providing customer booking tools that help businesses convert online bookings faster. Ahead of the UK launch, Powered by Flossie is being tested in New Zealand with the company’s existing fan base.
“We’re in the best position possible after seven years, and we’re ready to take on new markets,” says Flossie co-founder and CEO Jenene Crossan, who will be moving to Paris to maximise the growth opportunity.
Crossan says more than 70 per cent of all hair and beauty appointments in the UK are made online. Despite this, the online user experience of most salon management systems have not been updated in years.
“Our quest is to be the fastest beauty booking user experience in the world and we offer this without disrupting the existing salon systems, by enhancing their capabilities. What we’ve built over the years enables us to be the booking layer for multiple salon, spa and clinic software systems simultaneously, making us a unique player in the market for both enterprise salons and product brands seeking to remove fragmentation and leakage,” Crossan says.
“Remaining steadfastly agnostic and focusing purely on the customer experience has led us to this strategic advantage, and the global opportunity to modernise this industry with a better technology stack is now extensive.”
Crossan says Powered by Flossie is solving a substantial global industry pain point for the hair and beauty industry sector: booking abandonment (where customers give up on hard-to-use and slow booking processes), which are almost double that of cart abandonment rates for traditional e-commerce businesses - leakage that’s costing these businesses millions of dollars.
Flossie has completed numerous funding rounds to support its development over the last seven years, with a total of $6m in seed funding raised to date. The existing shareholder base of early-stage New Zealand technology funders include Sir Stephen Tindall (K1W1), Theresa Gattung, Rob Campbell, Mike Carden and Scott Gilmour, and have been joined by two new investors including venture index Icehouse100.
One of Flossie’s foundation investors, professional director Rob Campbell, says the shareholders see the spinoff technology as a fantastic next step for the company. “In the early days we were all attracted by the target of busy beauty care customers and salons wanting bookings. Flossie is a great solution for this, and now its technology stack can be used by any company taking online bookings.” Campbell says, “Put together to rigorous global software standards, with ace customer warmth on a shoestring, Powered by Flossie has been made with a talented development team and cyclone Jenene. What a trip.”