Phorest books $12m in growth funding for salon software

7 Mar 2022

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The Irish scale-up will use fresh financing from Toronto-based CIBC to drive product development and market growth.

Dublin-based SaaS player Phorest Salon Software has secured $12m in growth financing from CIBC Innovation Banking.

The fresh capital will be used to expand Phorest’s market reach and accelerate the launch of products that leverage machine learning.

Future Human

Founded in 2003 by Ronan Perceval, Dylan Collins and Sean Blanchfield, Phorest has become a major provider of scheduling software for salons in Europe with large shares of the UK and Ireland market.

Today, it provides more than 150,000 professionals at more than 8,500 salons with software to manage and make online bookings. It also has tools for stock control, staff rosters, e-commerce and payments, marketing campaigns and loyalty programmes.

Phorest VP of finance Jonathan Miller said that Toronto-headquartered CIBC has been providing support to the team for a number of years. “We’re grateful for their assistance through this growth facility, which will enable our immediate market development plans and accelerated product initiatives,” said Miller.

Sean Duffy, MD of CIBC’s London office, said the bank is “proud” to support the Irish scale-up. “Phorest and its team have provided solutions to thousands of businesses in the industry, and we look forward to seeing how they grow through the development of new strategic products,” he added.

Alongside an early-stage equity investment from Enterprise Ireland, Phorest raised €700,000 from 12 Halo Business Angel Network (HBAN) investors in two funding rounds in 2011 and 2013.

In 2018, the company raised €20m in investment from Susquehanna Growth Equity, which was a windfall for its early backers as the US investment firm completed full and partial buyouts for some.

“The Phorest deal was the first ever co-investment between two HBAN syndicates and has yielded one of the largest returns for angels in HBAN history,” said HBAN Ireland director John Phelan at the time.

The following year, Phorest was recognised by the European Business Angels Network as the most successful business financed by early-stage investors.

Updated, 11.50am, 8 March 2022: A previous version of this article said that Phorest provides software to more than 150,000 salons. This was amended as the correct figure is more than 150,000 professionals at more than 8,500 salons. 

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Elaine Burke is the editor of Silicon Republic

editorial@siliconrepublic.com