Cribcut, whose online platform connects mobile hair stylists and clients, has raised $1.06 million in equity funding to help finance its expansion across Canada and the U.S.
The Halifax company issued a statement saying that it has closed a second pre-seed round of $800,000, bringing its total pre-seed funding up over the million-dollar mark.
Investors in the round include Ramen Ventures, Innovacorp, Valhalla Angels, Georgian Angel Network, Broken Glass Angels, and several fellows and associates from the Creative Destruction Lab, including David Wilson, Frank Sobey, and Tom Hickey.
Led by CEO David Howe, Cribcut has built a software-enabled marketplace for hairstylists. It helps stylists become travelling hairdressers, providing clients with haircuts, colours and styles at their homes and offices. Last May, the company expanded into Toronto to complement its headquarters in Halifax.
"Cribcut empowers stylists - often women - to become entrepreneurs and achieve freedom, flexibility, and financial success,” said Adam McNamara, a partner at Toronto-based Ramen Ventures and a former Vice-President of Product at Shopify. “We love the team and their mission and we're excited to support them."
Most of the investors are angels, with the exception of Innovacorp and Venture Grade. Cribcut announced in December that it has received $15,000 from Venture Grade, the student-run VC fund at St. Mary’s University. Creative Destruction Lab is mainly an accelerator, but the fellows and associates at CDL-Atlantic have become the most-active group of angel investors in the region in the last year.
In a statement, Howe said salon-based stylists earn an average of $24,000 per year and give up more than half of their commissions to salon owners. Cribcut allows a hair stylist to retain 100 percent of his or her earnings, while only paying out US$49 a week as a software subscription fee. The average full-time stylist on the Cribcut platform earns more than $44,000 a year, said the company.
The company’s software helps stylists with bookings, travel optimization, payments and ratings. It also facilitates new client introductions. Bookings can be made through the online booking app with on-demand appointments available.
The company has recorded more than 40 percent monthly growth in terms of revenue and stylists in each of the past six months. The 102 stylists now using Cribcut have carried out a total of 6,000 appointments and are represented in 27 U.S. states and four Canadian provinces.
With a current headcount of 10 employees, the company plans to grow staffing at its offices in Halifax and Toronto by about 50 percent over the next nine months.
“Cribcut helps hairstylists run mobile salons, disrupting the $300 billion-plus haircare industry,” said Howe. “And we do it without needing to own a single salon, blow dryer, or pair of scissors. Cribcut has done for hair stylists what Uber has done for the average car owner, and what Airbnb has done for the average homeowner.”