Rarely do we get a chance to see married couples highlighted for running successful businesses, but husband and wife co-founders Courtney Caldwell and Tye Caldwell are setting a model example for what good business looks like in a solid partnership.
The Caldwells, who are 30-year industry veterans and the leaders of mobile marketplace ShearShare, created their business to connect salon and barbershop owners to licensed stylists in order to fill their empty salon space by the day, especially in the midst of COVID-19.
“Stylists are re-imagining how, when, and where they work,” CEO and Doctor of Professional Barbering & Cosmetology Tye Caldwell said in a press statement. “As the second largest industry for freelancers turns its attention to a new operating normal, many beauty and barbering professionals are taking time to revisit their priorities, including how to better manage operating costs, maximize revenue per days worked, and access professional workspace on-demand.”
ShearShare — the first and largest machine learning-enabled provider of on-demand salon and barbershop space rentals worldwide operating in over 600 cities — recently announced it closed a $2.3 million round in seed funding from existing investors like Precursor Ventures, Revolution’s Rise of the Rest Seed Fund, Structure Capital, Backstage Capital, and 500 Startups.
New participants for the funding round included global investors such as Bread and Butter Ventures, ArlanWasHere Investments (Arlan Hamilton’s fund in which Mark Cuban is the sole LP), Lightspeed Venture Partners Scouts Program, Jaylon Smith of the Dallas Cowboys (Minority Entrepreneurship Institute), Thaddeus Young of the Chicago Bulls (Reform Ventures), Bumble Fund, Notley Ventures, Sachse Family Fund, and more.
The co-founding couple has shared that they will use this latest funding round to finance product development, marketing, and also grow its technology and their 16-person staff.
According to a press release, ShearShare was able to help more than 125 stylists get approved for PPP funds during the initial stay-at-home pandemic mandates after they were originally denied. Now, they’re working toward creating more helpful resources that will propel the industry forward.
“When we surveyed more than 7,300 stylists, we discovered that 76% plan to utilize daily booth rental post-COVID, with a full 63% of industry professionals expecting to grow at least 25% in the next 3-5 years,” co-founder Courtney Caldwell shared in a statement. “That’s no surprise to us, because having been in the industry for three decades, we know that beauty bounces back. Our platform finally gives the owner and the stylist an opportunity to build their small businesses on their terms while also maximizing their earnings potential.”
ShearShare’s funding announcement comes on the heels of a growth phase for the company.
As one of the first recipients of the new Google for Startups Black Founders Fund, ShearShare has been a leading startup for beauty professionals and has dedicated its funding to furthering the platform’s mission to help stylists persevere during this time.
The #ShearShare team is proud to stand with @GoogleStartups as they provide #accesstocapital for 76 founders who are making the world 🌎 better for everyone. 🥳#fundBlackfounders https://t.co/HZbStQPTIe
— ShearShare, Inc. (@shearshare) October 8, 2020
“Yes, our industry has been hit hard, but 71% of stylists fully expect to recover within a year,” said Dr. Tye Caldwell in response to the pandemic’s effect on the industry. “Our platform helps them accelerate that economic mobility.”
In addition to joining Google’s nine-year-old program, ShearShare also received a non-dilutive cash award from the global company earlier this month.
Looking ahead, the Caldwells will be using their new funding to equip industry professionals with the necessary B2B tools to succeed in a post-pandemic society and continue building up the mobile platform’s success.
For more information about ShearShare, visit its website.