Huda Kattan is expanding her beauty empire. The Huda Beauty founder has announced she's backing Fresha, the salon and spa booking website and app, through her company HB Investments.
Launched in 2015 as Shedul, Fresha rebranded in 2020 and now has more than 50,000 venues listed in 120 countries, including the UAE. The app's Co-founder, Nick Miller, told Tech Crunch in 2019 that about eight million appointments were booked on the platform each month, at a value of more than $270 million.
Kattan joins a number of high-profile investors on the platform, led by New York's General Atlantic, backers of brands such as Facebook, Snap and Airbnb.
"I've witnessed first-hand the positive impact Fresha has for beauty entrepreneurs," Kattan, who is also the chairwoman of HB Investments, said.
“The company is a force for good in the growing community of beauty professionals around the globe, who are increasingly adopting a self-employed approach.
"By making top business software accessible without any subscription fees, Fresha lets professionals focus on what they do best – offering great experiences for their customers.”
Besides giving customers the option to easily book appointments, Fresha is designed to help salons and spas, especially those with smaller operations, manage day-to-day sales and operations, with software accessible for free. The platform generates its revenue through commissions on each booking.
“We see plenty of exciting opportunities for Fresha to work together closely with Huda Kattan and her team, particularly in the space of beauty product e-commerce,” said Fresha co-founder and chief executive William Zeqiri.
“The beauty industry is on the verge of a major transition online. Fresha is leading the way with free software for salons, barbershops and spas around the world.”
Kattan’s sister and Huda Beauty co-founder Mona Kattan, who also serves as president of HB Investments, said Fresha’s potential is limitless.
"It's supercharging businesses by allowing them to manage, track and grow in the fastest way possible, all subscription-free. For customers, it's a simple and easy platform to discover and book services. [It's] a win-win solution for both customers and service-based businesses."
Since launching in 2017, HB Investments, the private investment office of the founders of Huda Beauty, has been funding and mentoring entrepreneurs around the world. Last September, it became one of the principal shareholders of UAE luxury resale marketplace The Luxury Closet.
This month, HB Investments announced it was backing micro-learning app Uptime, with Huda Kattan also serving as a board member on the platform.
A self-described "knowledge hacking app", available to download for free, Uptime gives users five-minute snippets of a variety of content – everything from books to courses and documentaries. Users then have the option to purchase the content in its entirety via the app.
“Democratising access to education is something I care deeply about and so does the team at Uptime,” Kattan said at the time. "I’m excited to be joining them on this journey as an investor and board member to create a truly global ed-tech platform.”