Posted on April 24, 2017 by staff

Blow LTD: Beauty app launched by Grazia editor raises £3.5m


A style start-up launched by a former editor of Grazia magazine has raised a further £3.5 million to expand its business.

Blow LTD is the UK’s largest and fastest growing on demand beauty service, and the funding round was backed by the venture capital arm of Unilever.

Funding will enable investment in the platform, expansion into two other key UK cities, plus an international city by the end of 2017.

Founded by former Elle and Grazia Editor, Fiona McIntosh and Balderton’s Dharmash Mistry, Blow LTD’s tech-enabled “on demand” business has been growing at more than 20 per cent month-on-month in London and the Home Counties.

In May 2017, it will launch in Manchester and Birmingham, offering busy women the opportunity to order expert blow dries, make-up and nail services to their homes, hotels or offices from 7am until late.

It is hoped expansion will secure Blow LTD’s position as the clear UK market leader in on demand beauty services, having delivered over 120,000 expert beauty services to date.

All beauty professionals who join the platform have been rigorously skills tested, vetted, and CRB and insurance checked.

Following the recent acquisition of the Return To Glory consumer business, Blow LTD has extended its services in London from ‘event ready’ (blow dry, make up, nails) to maintenance and wellbeing services (massage, waxing, pilates, yoga) as a one-stop platform for both consumers and corporates.

The network is also being built to create a new distribution and sampling channel for beauty brands.

To help scale the business in its next phase, Blow LTD has appointed new CEO Brian Hickey, former divisional director of Just Eat.

“I am delighted to join the team at Blow LTD at such an exciting time in our evolution,” he said.

“Our refusal to compromise on customer delight and determination to personalise the salon experience have helped to establish Blow LTD. as the UK market leader in beauty on demand.

“Having refined the operational model in London, it is now time to kick off our ambitious expansion plans which will allow us to bring expert beauty services to the homes of time poor women in Manchester, Birmingham and in the near future, international cities.”

Chairman Dharmash Mistry added: “We are delighted to announce the £3.5m fundraise, led by Unilever Ventures to further invest in our tech platform and accelerate roll out into new markets.

“Moving to the next scaling stage, we are excited by the new talent joining the business – including our new CEO Brian Hickey, from Just Eat.

“Fiona and I look forward to working alongside him to create the new UK tech blockbuster.”