Indian Startup Zenoti Took A Gamble To Only Service Large Companies, And It Has Paid Off

In a recent interview, Chief Executive Officer of Zenoti, Sudheer Koneru, revealed that the company's tactic has been to choose their own customers, rather than let customers choose them.

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“The value proposition of really focusing on our market has surprised me,” he explained. The company only serves large companies and believes that they choose the customer, not the other way around. “Our customers are healthier—there is less churn, and our financial metrics are better. Even when COVID happened, the customers we chose were the ones who had no problems reopening, as opposed to saying, we decided to shut down for good. Focusing on who we want to cater to worked really well for us,” said Koneru.

It should come as no surprise then that Koneru wants his company to be the Uber of the beauty business. He says that his platform wants to put the algorithm to use to transform the industry and maximize value for practitioners in the space.

Since 2012, when the company built its complete stack and went to market, Zenoti has enabled its clients to accept bookings, accept digital payments, handle payroll, manage backend inventory, and transfer the tip from customers directly to a staff member’s bank account.

It’s this forward-thinking that has propelled the cloud-based software provider into unicorn status just a decade after it was founded in 2010. Zenoti, which offers software for the spa and salon industries has grown exponentially, and its recent Series D funding round of $160 has gained the company a valuation past the $1 billion mark. The round was led by Advent International with participation from Tiger Global Management and Steadview Partners.

The new round of funding will be used to scale the business across European and South American markets and double its employee count from 550 to 900 by 2022. It will also invest in research and development to enhance its customer experience with better inventory management, customer scheduling, and other features. The startup has raised about $251 million to date.

The company started out in India, but now says the U.S. accounts for the majority of its business. Notably, Zenoti is the fifth software product company of Indian origin to join the unicorn club. Zenoti powers over 12,000 businesses across 50 countries.