Dallas, TX, November 2, 2020 – ShearShare, the largest provider of on-demand salon and barbershop space rentals worldwide, today announced it has closed $2.3 million in seed funding.
Existing investors Precursor Ventures, Revolution’s Rise of the Rest Seed Fund, Structure Capital, Backstage Capital, and 500 Startups participated, alongside new participants Bread and Butter Ventures, ArlanWasHere Investments (Arlan Hamilton’s fund in which Mark Cuban is the sole LP), Lightspeed Venture Partners Scouts Program (Veronica Juarez and Jason McBride), Jaylon Smith of the Dallas Cowboys (Minority Entrepreneurship Institute), Thaddeus Young of the Chicago Bulls (Reform Ventures), Bumble Fund, Notley Ventures, Sachse Family Fund, and other global investors.
The company, which provides a machine learning-enabled marketplace that allows salon and barbershop owners to rent their excess suites and booths to licensed cosmetologists and barbers by the day, has now raised $3.4 million in total funding. Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, ShearShare has experienced a 157% increase in users over the past few months.
“Stylists are re-imagining how, when, and where they work,” says Dr. Tye Caldwell, Cofounder & CEO of ShearShare. “As the second largest industry for freelancers turns its attention to a new operating normal, many beauty and barbering professionals are taking time to revisit their priorities, including how to better manage operating costs, maximize revenue per days worked, and access professional workspace on-demand. Yes, our industry has been hit hard, but 71% of stylists fully expect to recover within a year. Our platform helps them accelerate that economic mobility.”
“We are proud to invest in ShearShare’s incredible team and the vision behind it. We have worked with Courtney and Dr. Tye for years and can’t imagine a better case of founder-market fit; they are transforming the beauty industry and are emerging from the COVID-19 crisis as true thought leaders in this space, working to enable independent stylists around the world to build their own entrepreneurial businesses on top of ShearShare’s scalable tech platform,” says Mary Grove, Managing Partner at Bread and Butter Ventures.
Cofounders Dr. Tye and Courtney Caldwell said they will use the latest round to fund product development, invest in marketing, and grow the now 16-person ShearShare team. According to ShearShare CEO Dr. Tye Caldwell, the company is also looking to staff up its data science and marketing teams, where they’ve hired three new team members over the past month.
ShearShare Cofounder & COO Courtney Caldwell adds, “When we surveyed more than 7,300 stylists, we discovered that 76% plan to utilize daily booth rental post-COVID, with a full 63% of industry professionals expecting to grow at least 25% in the next 3-5 years. That’s no surprise to us, because having been in the industry for three decades, we know that beauty bounces back. At the height of the 2008 recession, the number of mom-and-pop hair salons actually increased by nearly 10%. Our platform finally gives the owner and the stylist an opportunity to build their small businesses on their terms while also maximizing their earnings potential.”
Both Caldwells also shared that in addition to growing their technology and team, they will use funds from this round to equip industry professionals with the necessary B2B tools to function in a post-pandemic society, having already launched https://www.shearshare.combuildmybusiness, a microsite that provides more than 150 business tools to help industry pros grow and manage their small businesses from behind the chair. During the stay-at-home mandates, for example, the ShearShare team helped more than 125 stylists get approved for Paycheck Protection Program funds after they had been originally denied.
The funding announcement comes during a time of growth for the company. It is one of twelve participants in the inaugural Google for Startups Accelerator: Black Founders program and also received a non-dilutive cash award from Google’s $5 million Black Founders Fund earlier this month. ShearShare currently operates in over 600 cities and has the largest database on on-demand salon and barbershop space rentals, along with the most affordable leases in the market.
ShearShare is the first machine learning-enabled marketplace that allows salon and barbershop owners to rent their excess suites and booths to licensed cosmetologists and barbers by the day. The ShearShare mobile platform gives owners a chance to make efficient use of their excess space by providing independent stylists short-term access based on a time and price that’s convenient for them. Launched in early 2017, ShearShare currently serves industry professionals in more than 625 cities and 11 countries. For more information, visit ShearShare.com. To join the ShearShare community on Instagram, Facebook or Twitter, follow @ShearShare.
About Bread and Butter Ventures
Bread and Butter Ventures is a seed stage venture capital firm based in Minnesota, the Bread and Butter State, investing globally while leveraging our state and region’s unparalleled access to strong corporate connections, commercial opportunities, and industry expertise for the benefit of our founders. Run by Managing Partners Brett Brohl and Mary Grove, Bread and Butter can and does invest broadly across a number of sectors but is particularly dedicated to backing and supporting companies innovating in the essential backbone sectors of our economy.
For more information, please contact:
Rob Abney, ShearShare, firstname.lastname@example.org