Tech Pitch: Prettly.com

Setting out to make the lives of busy London women easier, this start-up delivers home beauty treatments through a cash-free mobile booking system

Company name: Prettly.com
Founders: Rhea Papanicolaou-Frangista (32) and Farrah Hamid (34)
Background: Papanicolaou-Frangista and Hamid met through the London Business School, where they both completed the full time MBA program. They have combined backgrounds in strategy, business development and marketing.
Based in: London, UK
Launched: November 2014

Very simply, what does your tech start-up do?

Rhea Papanicolaou-Frangista: We make the lives of busy women a bit easier, by delivering their beauty services (think manicures, hair styling, makeup and more) directly to their homes and offices at affordable prices.

Our technology enables women to book a service any time, in seconds in a cash-free, tip-free environment.

Tell us why there’s a need – what do you disrupt?

Farrah Hamid: It’s no secret that women in London, from all walks of life – and including us – are incredibly busy. Finding time for ourselves to take care of our health and beauty is often a challenge.

For beauty in particular, salons shut by the time you get out of work (or are not open early enough!) and in the past having treatments done in your home has been considered a luxury. We are meeting this need for more convenience in an affordable and easy-to-book way.

Is Prettly funded?

Papanicolaou-Frangista: Yes. Prettly has raised over £500,000 in seed funding to date, which has enabled us to build a small team, evolve our first website into a simple yet beautiful booking system and app, and deliver beauty treatments to thousands of women in London.

We will be fundraising again in the autumn time frame to further grow the business both by service category and by location.

What were you doing before you started Prettly?

Papanicolaou-Frangista: I was in one of the busiest periods of my life just before starting Prettly – planning a wedding, working in consulting and completing my MBA. I’m from Greece, where it is fairly commonplace to have your treatments done in the comfort of your home.

My friend recommended an amazing freelance beauty therapist here in London, and during my first manicure I had an “aha!” moment where I realized this was something that should be brought to the attention of more women in this city.

A few months after starting the business I met Farrah, who had recently worked with Dove and was equally inspired by the opportunity ahead of us.

What’s the best thing about being based in London?

Hamid: There are so many amazing things about being in London. We have a diverse, international community from which we can draw talent, which has proven very valuable for Prettly.

The start-up scene here is still burgeoning, which is exciting for entrepreneurs, as it often feels that we are learning together.

To learn more about launching in London, check out our free city guides.