The company is also expanding into Singapore, citing openness to technology and increased demand
Bfab, a Kuala Lumpur-based beauty startup, has announced a pivot. The company will shift its focus from its B2C online beauty marketplace to a B2B end-to-end software for salons.
“In the future, when the time is right, we will connect the B2B software and the B2C marketplace together so there will be a even more flawless and superior customer experience in [the] online booking of appointments,” he said in an email.
Furthermore, the company also said it is expanding to Singapore.
Bfab said it pivoted because, during the process working with the merchants, the startup realised that a decent salon does not have a problem attracting customers. Rather, the problem is salons do no have a full-suite software product to help them manage their company (like inventory, employee management and marketing).
The SaaS product is called Bfab PRO, and Netreba says it is truly unique in Southeast Asia.
He says other companies in the beauty sector do not offer the full-suite of services while more powerful SaaS companies have targetted the F&B and hospitality industries.
In terms of what it can do, here is a break-down of the services:
- A point-of-sale system that allows for functions like discounting, split billing and invoicing.
- A calendar to manage appointments.
- Staff management and scheduling.
- A customer relations management tool to aggregate data about how people shop in the store.
- An inventory management solution.
- Back end analytics to see data like revenue, appointments and average spending.
- A marketing tool to help salons with email marketing.
- An online booking tool for the customer.
- The option for group management which is essential when the salon has branched across a city or country and has hundreds of shops.
Bfab has various tiers of pricing but said the average subscription sold to its Beta customers was around US$110 yearly. In Singapore, the basic package will cost S$89 (US$65) while the full-service will be priced at S$250 (US$184).
As for specific challenges Netreba anticipates, he expects education to be the first hurdle, but one that is worth the effort.
“The hardest part is that we are this player who has to get out and explain all of this to every merchant, one-by-one – this is time-consuming and of course expensive, but the unit economics are there already as we get annual subscriptions and the relationships are long-lasting which will pay off for both parties,” he said.
The team also left open of the possibility that it work with clients in other verticals like clinics, doctors, fashion designers, tattoo studios and many more.
Expanding to Singapore
Upon entering Singapore, Bfab will have to immediately contend for brand awareness with Vanitee and Vaniday. That being said, the two local brands are more focussed on the appointment booking services while Bfab is targetting the back-room office work.
The expansion is not backed by funding but Netreba says they have begun the fundraising process.
Bfab says it chose Singapore as its first expansion destination for three reasons,
- Singapore businesses are open to trying new technology.
- They have specifically seen a boost in demand from Singapore and are in talks to sign brands from the city.
- A lot of companies make Singapore their regional headquarters, which helps with partnerships and deals.
While Bfab is focussed on its Singapore expansion, over the next year it does hope to have a physical presence one or two other markets across the region.
In January 2o16, Bfab raised an undisclosed round from KK Fund, 500 Startups and Captii Ventures.
Copyright: meinzahn / 123RF Stock Photo
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