Hair and beauty marketplace Wahanda acquires German counterpart Salonmeister

Deal follows $26m investment deal for fast-growing online business

Startups 100-listed online hair and beauty marketplace Wahanda today announced the acquisition of its German counterpart Salonmeister, marking the first step of an ambitious Europe-wide expansion strategy.

Founded in 2008 by Lopo Champalimaud and Salim Mitha, Wahanda operates an online health and beauty marketplace which allows customers to browse and instantly book appointments at more than 6,000 spas across the UK.

Through this model, Wahanda claims it facilitates an average increase in bookings of 25-30% for its clients, with some seeing as much as a 50% increase in business.

The business, which was listed in the 2010 Startups 100 index, has performed strongly since launch, growing at 200% year-on-year and employing 100 staff. It now claims to be the leading marketplace of its kind anywhere in Europe.

Its acquisition of German company Salonmeister, for an undisclosed sum, is the first step in an ambitious Europe-wide acquisition strategy backed by $26m of growth funding secured from RGIP, Fidelity Growth Partners and Lepe Partners earlier this year.

As part of the deal, current Salonmeister CEO Louis Pfitzner will continue in his current role, with the two businesses set to be merged under one brand name eventually.

Lopo Champalimaud, chief executive of Wahanda, said: “Acquiring Salonmeister is the first step in our long-term plan to expand the business across Europe.

“Salonmeister immediately struck us a company that shares the same values as Wahanda – in particular an uncompromising dedication to great customer service, day in day out, with industry-leading software. The German hair and beauty marketplace is a vibrant and exciting one, and is enjoying similar growth opportunities to the UK.”

Louis Pfitzner, chief executive of Salonmeister, said: “The deal is incredibly exciting for us as we look to continue our expansion across Germany, Austria and Switzerland. We are also really looking forward to being able to offer Wahanda’s technology to our partners and users and ensure that our customers continue to enjoy the benefits and convenience that we offer.

Following the acquisition, we are looking to boost our sales and marketing teams as part of a renewed growth push, so anyone interested in joining the team should get in touch.”

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