On Thursday, Whittl, a tech startup has announced it securing $3.3 million Series A round of funding led by Origin Ventures and KGC Capital and featured participation from GrubHub co-founder Mike Evans, OCA Ventures, Amicus Capital and Drummond Road Capital.
The Chicago-based startup platform, previously called MyServista, helps its users search, schedule and pay for local services like dentist, barbers and spas. Though it was launched in 2012 for offering pricing information online for spas, salons and other local services, the business took off only about 18 months ago when it started to its service to schedule appointments. The startup’s co-founder Mike Zivin said, “Whittl helps people get their to-dos done.” The company has partnered with over 1000 businesses in Chicago and its booking has been growing 20% every month, said the co-founded Hemant Kashyap.
“With our Series A round, we can continue to invest in the product and introduce Whittl to new markets, solidifying our positions as the go-to app for personal services.” said Zivin. He also added, “We started with pricing (information), but it’s grown to much more than that. Now it’s time to take what we have learned in Chicago and expand it.” The company is planning to expand into five new cities by next year with the new funds.
Of late, scheduling has become an important area in the local e-commerce, said Peter Krasilovsky, an analyst at BIA Kelsey. “We all see the opportunity, but there is no one who owns the space. The spa space is one where you have core clients and can upsell them, and they come back,” said Krasilovsky.
One among the investors Mike Evans said, “Whittl is solving a tricky problem for businesses and their consumers in an elegant way and then rolling it out deliberately to new markets. As one of Whittl’s original investors I’m excited about continuing to invest in a business that is doing a great job of capturing a huge market.”
the startup announced a $1.3 million seed round in 2012 and since then, the business has been functioning and headquartered at the Windy City. Kashyap said, “Chicago checks all of the boxes for what Whittl values as a market – lots of great neighborhoods, a strong tech scene and many independent businesses. More importantly, we live here and we wanted to build an awesome company in Chicago.” Since the model has worked good so far in Chicago, it is working on to convert the same to fit into other markets.