Salon software company Phorest scoops angel investment award

Company named most successful business financed by early stage investors

Phorest founder Ronan Perceval: the start-up was founded in 2003 and now employs 200 people in Dublin, Cologne and Philadelphia

Phorest founder Ronan Perceval: the start-up was founded in 2003 and now employs 200 people in Dublin, Cologne and Philadelphia

 

Dublin-based salon software company Phorest has scooped a major European angel investment award in Helsinki, Finland.

The start-up has been named most successful business financed by early stage investors at this year’s European Business Angels Network annual congress.

The award, which was presented in front of an audience of 530 investors, entrepreneurs, VCs, corporates and innovators from 35 countries, celebrates businesses that have grown into successful, international enterprises since receiving early-stage funding.

Phorest was founded by Ronan Perceval in 2003 and now employs 200 people in Dublin, Cologne and Philadelphia. It has developed office management software for hair and beauty salons that allows them to take bookings online, manage appointments, roster staff, control stock and implement marketing campaigns and loyalty programmes.

The company last year secured €20 million in funding from US investment firm Susquehanna Growth Equity in a move that facilitated a buyout of, and a healthy return for angel investors who backed Phorest through the Halo Business Angel Network (HBAN).

Partial buyout

Phorest previously raised €700,000 from 12 HBAN angel investors in two funding rounds in 2011 and 2013. Three investors were recently fully bought out while the remaining five opted for a partial buyout, meaning they retain some shares in the company.

The company’s software is now used in more than 5,600 salons in six countries and it has become the market leader for salon software in Britain and Ireland.

“Our initial funding allowed us to develop the technology that is now the fabric of our business today. But not only that, taking on external funding also changed us as an organisation; we had people who were invested in our success and that drove us to implement the organisational structures we needed to succeed and scale,” said Mr Perceval.

The award win is the sixth won by HBAN at the annual congress in the last seven years. A joint initiative of Enterprise Ireland, InterTradeIreland and Invest Northern Ireland, HBAN invested €9.3 million into 44 start-ups last year.