Milan-based Uala is a beauty booking platform for haircuts, manicures, pedicures, and massages at salons throughout Italy. The startup, founded in 2015, invested €1.5 million in Balinea, a French beauty and massage booking platform, in 2018. Uala has now raised an additional €15 million from Immobiliare.it to acquire the majority stake from existing Balinea shareholders and fund the company’s growth in France.
With the acquisition, Uala and Balina work with more than 9,000 active salons, and plan to become the leading hair and beauty online booking service for France, Italy, Spain, Portugal and Greece.
Balinea.com was launched in 2010 and has pioneered online beauty booking in France with more than one million bookings to date.
“Booking a service online is now becoming commonplace in the beauty industry, although it took some time to change habits of beauty salons and get them migrate their availabilities online,” said Valérie Abehsera, co-founder and CEO of Balinea.com. “With more than 3,000 salons in France, Balinea.com has built a solid base to reach a critical mass of salons in the near future. Nine years ago, online booking was inexistent and yet I thought that the huge beauty sector would sooner or later be disrupted by digital.”
“We are delighted to join forces with Balinea, a company that has such a great experience and brand recognition in France,” said Alessandro Bruzzi, co-founder and CEO of Uala.com. “We share the same vision that the online booking market has huge potential and that there is a lot of innovation ahead of us to support professionals with best in class management software to optimize their operations and provide a superior experience to their customers.”
The tech teams from both companies will join to conceive and develop the best user experience, both for clients and salons, in multiple countries.
“With over 6,000 salons already using Uala, a clear leadership and a proven business model in Italy, our goal is to accelerate digital migration of the beauty market in France by leveraging Balinea’s well known equity and track record,” said Giampiero Marinò, Uala’s COO.