Wellness app Urban just raised $7.6m in seed funding

  • Fitness and beauty marketplace Urban just raised close to $8 million in seed funding from BNF Capital and crowdfunders on Seedrs. 
  • Urban pairs users with fitness and beauty professionals though its app, with the wider wellness economy valued at as much as $4 trillion.
  • Speaking to Business Insider, cofounder Jack Tang revealed how the firm had coped with the “huge hole” left in its revenue due to the COVID-19 pandemic. 
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

Beauty and fitness startup Urban has raised close to £6 million ($7.6 million) in a seed funding round backed by family office BNF Capital. 

Founded in 2014, Urban markets itself as the “wellness app for busy people”, providing customers with a platform to book hairdressers, fitness experts, and other wellness professionals to their own homes.

The concept is similar to another UK beauty marketplace, Treatwell, which allows users to book salon appointments in their local area.

Urban is targeted at those living and working in busy metropolitan cities, particularly London, Manchester, and Birmingham in the UK, with a growing base of users in Paris. 

With around 3,800 registered professionals and 170,000 consumers using the Urban app on a monthly basis, the firm is working hard to disrupt the lucrative global wellness industry, which the Global Wellness Institute values at around $4 trillion.

Speaking to Business Insider, Urban cofounder Jack Tang said the pandemic had left a “huge hole” left in its revenue due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We had started fundraising, and we had around £4 million (or $5 million) locked in from BNF,” he said. “But as we started to feel the impact of lockdown in April, we decided to pause the round.” 

A short time later, the firm reopened the raise to the public on crowdfunding platform Seedrs, where it was able to accrue another £2 million (or $2.5 million) of investment.

“We’re incredibly grateful for the support that we’ve received, and to have such a strong community of backers, who have a vested interest in our success, spreading the word to their friends and families.” 

Moving forward, Tang said the firm would seek to maintain its roughly 60-person headcount, while aiming for profitability within the next 12 months, and then looking to expand into international markets. 

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