Most Black men who work in different cities find it tough to find a regular Black barber. But a new app that streamlines the process has now made $1 billion in sales.
Squire, the barbershop scheduling app, earned $ 1 billion in payments said a tweet from Squire Co-Founder Songe LaRon.
"It took two years to reach our first $1 million, 5.5 years to $100 million, and now we surpassed $1B," LaRon said. "Every dollar reflects the hard work of our team and the dedication of the barbers we serve, and I'm deeply grateful to every shop owner, barber, and team member who's been part of this journey."
According to Essence, the company is valued at $750 million, and is "coined as an all-in-one barbershop business management system."
The founders of the app took a risk, which paid off big.
"My co-founder was working at a law firm and quit his job," Dave Salvant, Squire co-creator said. "We had to figure out if we believed strongly enough in this to leave our jobs and institutions -- people think about that all the time."
Squire has also gotten funding venture capital from ICONIQ Capital, Trinity Ventures, among others.
"Let's face it, we're not typical founders, we don't look the same and we don't act the same," Salvant said in a 2021 Tech Crunch interview. "I just want to serve as a lighthouse and this is validation for myself, my co-founder, but more importantly, what's coming after us."
Reaching this point was not easy for the cofounders, though they always had the vision.
When they embarked on the app in 2015, they signed up 50 barbers or so at eight or nine shops thanks to speaking with owners. But barbers were complaining that the app wasn't helping them run their stores, and very few customers downloaded the app, according to Yahoo.
Additionally, both cofounders didn't have any experience as a barber, as LaRon worked as a corporate lawyer and Salvant was in finance.
But in 2016, they spent 20K of the 60K of cash they had on an "ailing barbershop in Manhattan's Chelsea Market."
That gave us a test kitchen to develop the software," Salvant said to Yahoo. "This was a huge gamble."
While they did not have any experience in cutting hair or owning a small business, the cofounders researched how barbershops operate, realizing they had to change Squire from a glorified appointment app to a platform that could deal with the core problems of running a barbershop.
In the summer of 2020, Squire hit the $750 million breakout valuation. To justify that lucrative valuation and to maintain that investors stay happy, Salvant and LaRon are focusing on adding even more barbershops and more services.
"It's growing so fast that I don't think revenue across the year is to the point that they value the most," LaRon said. "The name of the game is more growth."