Unicorns Are Ready For A Haircut – TechCrunch

Digitizing your haircut may not have been on your 2020 wish list, but 2021 has an even more surprising lineup: Tech-driven barbers are now a nearly $ 1 billion worth of business proposition. .

Squire is a back-end barbershop management tool for freelance businesses. I first covered it in the early months of the COVID-19 pandemic. The startup raised millions of dollars days before his key clientele, the hair salons, closed across the country. The company eventually went from defense to offense in its growth strategy, finding itself a key partner for any barbershop that needed to start offering contactless payments, digital appointment booking, and a smoother customer experience built for a generation used to do everything online.

This week, Squire tripled its rating thanks to a round led by Tiger-Global. The company is now worth $ 750 million, having been valued at around $ 75 million when we first spoke to them.

When I spoke with co-founder Dave Salvant, who launched the company with Songe LaRon in 2016, he explained to me how the company is now in a place to expand into other salon-specific value propositions, either through acquisitions or partnerships. This week, for example, Squire announced that it launched a payment processing arm with Bond, a business-backed fintech infrastructure company. The company also partnered with Gusto to provide human resources services to its clientele. Salvant pointed out how progress in technology, especially financial services, allows them to offer a solid product without having to build everything in-house.

While these are partnerships for now, I wouldn’t be surprised if we see Squire start collecting companies that can unlock the value of their existing data sets on how hair salons work and what kind of capital is coming in and out of those doors.

Behind the numbers:

It is a company to be reckoned with that fits the narrative of a shaken pandemic, following proven startups looking to expand with new capitalizations. However, it is less common for Squire to be now on his way to becoming a historic black-led unicorn and, unfortunately, still rare. The more data points the better.

In the rest of this newsletter, we’ll discuss Robinhood’s public debut and why one CEO thinks everyone should be them for one day. You can find me on twitter @nmasc_.

Robinhood sells Robinhood

Illustration of robinhood pen logo spray painted on a brick wall

Image credits: TechCrunch

Robinhood’s long-awaited IPO is not so long-awaited anymore. After prices at the lower end of its range, consumer trade and investment application stocks fell sharply, ranging between 8% and 10%.

This is what you need to know: IPO expert and Equity co-host Alex Wilhelm gave us two reasons why Robinhood’s stock fell. After all, we are used to outbursts in the world of consumer-oriented tech companies.

Robinhood made a large portion of its initial public offering available to its own users. Or, in practice, Robinhood reduced initial retail demand by offering its investors and traders shares at the same price and level of access that large investors were given. It is a good idea. But in doing so, Robinhood may have reduced unmet retail interest in its stock, perhaps reshaping its initial supply / demand curve.

Or perhaps the company’s warnings that its trading volumes could decline in the second quarter of 2021 scared off some bulls.

You have the opportunity to be a CEO, you can be a CEO!

Popping balloons and party streamers on wooden floor

Image credits: Richard Drury (Opens in a new window) / Fake images

Now that free beer is no longer a company benefit, the next best may have emerged: Anyone in your company becomes CEO for a day. Vincit CEO Ville Houttu implemented this program at his company in 2018 and said the initiative has paid off “ten times”.

Here’s how it works, according to the company:

The program gives our employee the reins for 24 hours with an unlimited budget. The only requirement? The CEO must make a lasting decision that will help improve the work experience of Vincit employees. Regardless of what the CEO of the day decides, the company sticks. They can buy something for the company, change a policy, update a tool that we use … Actually, anything you can think of can be done.

You can see the resulting policies in our history, but IMHO the end result is definitely better than free beer.

Around TC

  • TechCrunch’s outage schedule just became available. It’s a must-read list and a must-attend event. Some highlights:
    • Pot, pottery and beyond with Seth Rogen (houseplant), Haneen Davies (houseplant) and Michael Mohr (houseplant)
    • Breaking the bank with Brian Armstrong (Coinbase)
    • Talking about SPAC with Chamath Palihapitiya (Social Capital)
    • Dogmatic Design with Melanie Perkins (Canva)
  • Ask for Amanda Silberling, a recent addition to the TechCrunch team that has been absolutely overwhelming your pace of consumer technology. Follow her On twitter if you haven’t already!

Over week

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Talk soon,



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