Heyday's CEO lays out how the buzzy skincare startup is using $20 million in Series B fundraising to bring its facial services to the masses

  • Heyday just secured a $20 million round of funding to help expand its national footprint. 
  • The skincare startup plans to open a series of franchise locations around the country. 
  • Today Heyday operates ten locations in New York, Los Angeles, and Philadelphia. 
  • Visit the Business section of Insider for more stories.

Fresh off securing a $20 million round of funding, skincare startup Heyday is ready to bring facials to the masses. 

According to Heyday CEO and co-founder Adam Ross, the company plans to use the cash infusion — part of a deal led by the private equity firm, Level 5 Capital Partners  — to fund a series of franchise locations around the country. Heyday currently operates ten locations in New York, Los Angeles, and Philadelphia, all designed to “free the facial from the spa,” Ross told Insider. 

“When you hear the word spa, it has these beauty, pampering, and indulgence connotations,” he said. “But when you re-position the facial in a gender-neutral, un-intimidating, design-inspired layout like Heyday, you target a younger demographic and it’s very much self-care.”

Though “self-care” has long been a buzzword in the beauty and wellness categories, its prominence has risen amid the pandemic, as Americans seek ways to ease anxieties brought on by the coronavirus. However, while facials have traditionally fallen under the umbrella of self-care, Heyday was among the many retailers forced to temporarily close its doors early in the outbreak to prevent the spread of the virus. 

Today, seven of its ten locations have reopened — with remaining closures at both Los Angeles stores and the pop-in shop at Nordstrom in New York City — where Ross said demand has been strong. 

“Even though we’re open on a limited basis, demand is still strong,” he said. “We certainly expect the next few months to be a little challenging at a macro level, given the anxiety as we hopefully move through the final stages of the pandemic, but right now we’re just making the right investments for what we hope to be a far stronger second half of the year.” 

The interior of a Heyday location.Heyday

Reframing the facial experience

Since its founding in 2016, Heyday has focused on delivering skin-care services to a wide demographic base. Though millennial women comprise a majority of Heyday consumers, the company has seen a rise among both Gen Z and Gen X users.

As a result, its core demographic spans from 18 to 45 years old, Ross said. And while approximately 20% of its users are men, Ross said this is an area that Heyday is seeking to grow moving forward. 

“Skin is skin,” he said. “It’s not just women, men also want to have great skin. I think talking about that and investing in that is a lot more accepted today than they may have sort of perhaps been a little more like emasculating five to seven years ago.” 

For Ross, the larger goal is to transform the perception of facials as more than just an annual treat, but a regular part of a beauty regimen. He said that though just under 30% of Heyday consumers arrive having never had a facial, “the bulk of clients generally tick the once-a-year box,” with about a third of its users using the service on a monthly basis. 

“When we started the company five years ago we set out to reframe the facial experience, knowing that’s the gold standard of a great skincare routine,” he said.

Freeing the facial from the spa

Expanding Heyday’s national footprint with the help of Level 5 will be an integral part of the company’s growth plan. In the coming months, Heyday plans to carve out a strategic expansion, starting with adding more stores in Los Angeles and the greater Southern California region, as well as in cities like Atlanta, Chicago, and Miami. The company has raised a total of $33.2 million in funding but declined to reveal its total valuation.

“To us, the primary markets are important, but we want to step back and be very thoughtful about the right strategy that covers not those, but a number of secondary and tertiary cities. So we’re doing this right with defining territories from the outset.”

According to Chris Kenny, managing partner at Level 5, Heyday particularly appealed to the firm given its potential to stake a major claim on the “disaggregated industry” of facial services across the US. 

“The category of facials is really well known, but it’s the most fragmented category we’ve ever looked at,” Kenny told Insider. “There’s this broad knowledge of facials as one of the more recognized self-care spa terms out there, but the lack of availability of it being conveniently executed well at a reasonable price was something that just kind of made the light bulb went off immediately.”

Kenny said he was ultimately persuaded by Ross’s belief that providing more accessible facials nationwide will be a lucrative venture. 

“He really was able to get through to me, not just at the facial was a commonly known term, but that the need for it existed all the way to Columbus, Ohio, and every main street around because at the end of the day, it is your skin and its gender-neutral and it doesn’t pick winners or losers,” he said. 

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