On-demand beauty: beauty marketplace acquisition confirms UK enthusiasm

By Lucy Whitehouse

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On-demand beauty: beauty marketplace acquisition confirms UK enthusiasm
The rise of apps and websites linking consumers with beauty services has been on the rise globally in the past few years: a recent London acquisition suggests the UK market is no exception to the trend.

Freauty, one of the UK’s first marketplaces for independent, mobile beauty service providers has recently completed the acquisition of an on-demand beauty service, Zeebba.

Zeebba’s model is one of providing consumers with trained beauty therapists who deliver their services to the customer’s home. The move suggests the market for on-demand beauty is growing in the UK, with Zeebba having received seed investment only last year.

‘Mobile beauty space expanding’

In a statement, Freauty’s CEO, Kit Chong, noted that the acquisition - part of the company’s long term acquisition-based strategy - comes in response to rising consumer demand for mobile beauty marketplaces.

“The mobile beauty space is expanding and having an opportunity to leverage some synergistic value was key for Freauty​,” Chong noted. “By adding Zeebba to our existing portfolio we’re in a stronger position to scale up our operations to further tap this lucrative market whilst simultaneously being in a position to offer an even greater service.”

The move will see Freauty expand its offering to service the whole of Greater London, according to the company. It’s a move that taps into the strategy of expanding through acquisition being used by similar companies across the globe, particularly in Asia.

Service consolidation

The move to bring the two UK companies together will see a consolidation of their similar marketplace offerings, a deliberate step by the companies which commentators suggest could well be a savvy one.

Loukas Spiliotopoulos, MD at Lancaster Private Equity, the firm which advised Zebba, said: “In today’s highly fragmented market, consolidation is not only justified by the obvious economies of scale and providing better technology, but this deal especially enables the best of two highly creative teams to join forces in better servicing their end users.”

Orlando Agrippa, M&A specialist agreed, noting: “Companies are looking to consolidate and strengthen their positions in the market, while maintaining growth in their core businesses. Freauty and Zeebba complement each other in terms of team, operations and vision, which is important in any merger.”

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