Unicorns are ready for a haircut – TechCrunch


The digitization of your haircut could not have been in your 2020 bucket listing, however 2021 has an much more stunning line merchandise: Tech-powered barbershops at the moment are a enterprise proposition valued at practically a billion {dollars}.

Squire is a back-end barbershop administration instrument for unbiased companies. I first lined it within the early months of the COVID-19 pandemic. The startup raised tens of millions of {dollars} days earlier than its key clientele — barber outlets — had been shut down throughout the nation. The corporate ultimately went from protection to offense in its progress technique, discovering itself as a key accomplice for any barbershop that wanted to begin providing contactless funds, digital appointment reserving and a extra seamless buyer expertise constructed for a technology used to doing all the things on-line.

This week, Squire tripled its valuation due to a Tiger-World-led spherical. The corporate is now value $750 million, after being valued at round $75 million once we first spoke to them.

Once I spoke to co-founder Dave Salvant, who launched the corporate with Songe LaRon in 2016, he defined how the corporate is now in a spot to increase into different barbershop-specific worth propositions — both by means of acquisitions or partnerships. This week, for instance, Squire introduced that it launched a fee processing arm with Bond, a venture-backed fintech infrastructure firm. The corporate additionally partnered with Gusto to deliver on HR providers for its clientele. Salvant famous how the progress of tech, particularly monetary providers, lets them supply up a powerful product while not having to construct all the things in-house.

Whereas these are partnerships for now, I wouldn’t be shocked if we see Squire start to scoop up firms that may unlock worth from its present datasets of how barbershops operate and what sort of capital comes out and in of these doorways.

Behind the numbers:

It’s an organization to observe that matches into the narrative of pandemic rocked, then confirmed startups trying to increase with contemporary capitalization. Much less frequent, although, is that Squire is now en path to changing into a historic and sadly nonetheless uncommon Black-led unicorn. Extra information factors, the higher.

In the remainder of this text, we’ll focus on Robinhood’s public debut and why a CEO thinks everybody must be them for a day. You will discover me on Twitter @nmasc_.

Robinhood sells Robinhood

illustration of robinhood feather logo spraypainted on a brick wall

Picture Credit: TechCrunch

The long-awaited Robinhood IPO is not long-awaited. After pricing on the decrease finish of its vary, the buyer investing and buying and selling app’s shares went down sharply, teetering between 8% to 10%.

Right here’s what to know: IPO skilled and fellow Fairness co-host Alex Wilhelm gave us two causes as to why Robinhood’s inventory went down. In spite of everything, we’re used to pops within the consumer-facing tech firm world.

Robinhood made an enormous chunk of its IPO obtainable to its personal customers. Or, in follow, Robinhood curtailed early retail demand by providing its buyers and merchants shares on the identical value and degree of entry that huge buyers got. It’s a neat concept. However by doing so, Robinhood could have lowered unserved retail curiosity in its shares, maybe reshaping its early provide/demand curve.

Or possibly the corporate’s warnings that its buying and selling volumes might decline in Q2 2021 scared off some bulls.

You get to be a CEO, you get to be a CEO!

Burst balloons and party streamers on wooden floor

Picture Credit: Richard Drury (opens in a brand new window) / Getty Photos

Now that free beer is not an organization perk, the subsequent greatest one could have emerged: Let anybody in your organization change into CEO for a day. Vincit CEO Ville Houttu applied this program at his firm in 2018 and stated that the initiative has paid off “tenfold.”

Right here’s the way it works, per the corporate:

This system provides our worker the reins for 24 hours with a vast price range. The one requirement? The CEO should make one lasting choice that can assist enhance the working expertise of Vincit staff. Regardless of the CEO of the Day decides, the corporate sticks with. They’ll buy one thing for the corporate, change a coverage, replace a instrument we use … Actually, something that they give you will be finished.

You possibly can see the ensuing insurance policies in our story, however in my humble opinion, the tip result’s positively higher than free beer.

Round TC

  • The TechCrunch Disrupt Agenda simply went dwell. It’s a must-read line up and a must-attend occasion. Some standouts:
    • Pot, Pottery and Past with Seth Rogen (Houseplant), Haneen Davies (Houseplant) and Michael Mohr (Houseplant)
    • Breaking the Financial institution with Brian Armstrong (Coinbase)
    • Talking SPAC with Chamath Palihapitiya (Social Capital)
    • Dogmatic Design with Melanie Perkins (Canva)
  • Shout out to Amanda Silberling, a current addition to the TechCrunch staff who has been completely crushing her client tech beat. Observe her on Twitter for those who don’t already!

Throughout the week

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