Beauty start-up Blow Ltd gets Unilever funding for UK, international expansion
A British beauty start-up founded by a former glossy magazine editor has secured £3.5 million in funding from Unilever’s venture capital operation and has plans to expand to further UK cities as well as abroad.
Blow Ltd currently provides on-demand salon-style services in South East England and plans to rollout its offer in Manchester and Birmingham next month. This offer includes blow-dries, make-up and nail services, ordered via an app and delivered from 07:00 until the late evening.
It also has its own beauty bars in London’s Covent Garden and Canary Wharf.
Unilever Ventures’ investment director Stephen Willson said the company is “reinventing the service experience and ultimately creating a new route for product distribution.”
The cash from Unilever Ventures will be used to enhance its tech platform and to facilitate its expansion after the company said it has been seeing 20% growth a month in London and the Home Counties. It will also be used to help it launch in an as-yet-unnamed international city by year-end.
Blow was founded by ex-Elle UK and Grazia Editor-in-Chief Fiona McIntosh and venture capitalist Dharmash Mistry. It recently announced that Mistry would become Chairman and that former Just Eat Divisional Director Brian Hickey would join as CEO to drive the firm’s expansion plans.
McIntosh will retain her title of Creative Director. She was previously Editor-in-Chief of Elle in the UK and launch editor of Grazia. She then became Consultant Creative Director at now-defunct luxury e-tailer mywardrobe.com and has most recently been a consultant for Mondadori on the launch of the Grazia brand worldwide.
The new funding is Blow Ltd’s second round after it originally raised £1.3 million through a UK equity crowdfunding platform.
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