Founder and chief executive Pawel Netreba said the funding is to fuel Bfab’s pre-launch plans – to build the platform, launch its product and build traction.
“This funding is for a pre-launch, pre-MVP (minimum viable product), very early stage growth,” he told DEALSTREETASIA.
He added: “Our aim for the funding is to build the product, bring it to the market, sign up merchants and generate transactions. The main objective is to validate the market and our unique approach: one-stop online beauty & wellness booking platform which has the real time booking component.”
Bfab is KK Fund’s seventh investment.
Managing partner Koichi Saito believed that the market opportunity for the startup is huge, noting that he has observed several successful cases outside Southeast Asia.
“There is no winner in this business space yet here in Southeast Asia. Also, the team is strong. I believe their Rocket Internet and several entrepreneurship experiences can change beauty service industry in this region,” Saito said.
Managing partner of 500 Startups, Khailee Ng commented that Bfab’s business model is an eventuality and the “Bfab team has proven the speed of execution required to make this revolution happen”.
The startup, founded by Netreba, Raeesa Sya and Sergey Gaydar will be launching its mobile app towards the end of January or early February.
“We have also sufficient funding to build a platform professionally with minimum level of service including a call center for customers and merchants, account managers for the merchants, professional marketing team to create awareness and drive traffic and so on,” he said via an email.
Netreba said Bfab’s key differentiator to the existing marketplaces around Southeast Asia is its instant booking confirmation feature.
“We’re in fact the only one who provides real-time booking in the region and we’re confident that customers are going to love it,” he added.
Bfab, which stands for “Be fabulous”, is an online marketplace for beauty and wellness services.
Users log in for free to book their hair, massage, spa, nail, waxing and makeup services from the extensive list of beauty salons featured. The startup is currently serving Klang Valley.
Besides offering easy access to discover salons in different areas, it also allows users to compare prices and the ability to comment and rate the services.
Bfab’s instant booking customer relationship management (CRM) system connects salons and users on one marketplace. This gives the user the ability to view available slots of the salons in real time, book the service and receive confirmation instantly.
Customers can also geo-locate themselves and request which salons are around and available for them to book sessions on the go. This feature will be launched with the mobile app.
For its launch, Bfab was able to sign around 200 outlets in Klang Valley that consists of reputable chains such as A Cut Above, Amante, Mandara Spa, The Soloist Salon, Kimarie, Makeover Hair Salon, among others.
Sya, who is chief commercial officer, said Bfab was created to provide the ultimate convenience to users to book their pampering sessions.
“By bringing customers and salons together onto one marketplace, we help salons to push their online presence/exposure, bringing them new customers and hence increased revenues and profitability. This can make the difference.”
Bfab will also introduce a loyalty programme further down the road.
The team is currently 15 people strong, and the startup is geared to increase its headcount to ensure high level of customer service for both the customer and the merchants.