Blow LTD on track to expand nationwide

The 'fast beauty' company has raised a further $6.5m from investors

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The Independent Online

The founders of the online fashion giant Asos and private equity firm Lion Capital are pumping money into a beauty salon that’s looking to launch a nationwide chain of New York-style blow dry bars.

Robert Darwent and Lyndon Lea of Lion and Asos’s Nick Robertson are among investors putting $6.5m into blow LTD, which was founded by the former Balderton Capital deal maker Dharmash Mistry and Fiona McIntosh, a former editor of Grazia magazine.

The company opened its first beauty salon in London’s Covent Garden last year after raising an initial $2.5m and is planning a second in the Canary Wharf financial district in November. The new funds will be used to open sites outside London.

Mr Mistry, who is also a non-executive director at the BBC, said: "The fundamental consumer insight behind the company is that ‘looking great doesn’t have to cost a fortune or take forever.’ We found the beauty market has become more premium … and the services on offer tended to be more spa like. 

"Customers may want a day spa visit on a weekend, but they also want a 30 minute shot of confidence at one of our fast beauty bars before the 7:30am meeting, a lunch date or before going out with the girls."

The business sells more than 1,000 beauty products online while the "fast" beauty bars offer 30-minute blow dries and 15-minute manicures and make-up.

Blow LTD has already sold around  2,000 services a month in its Covent Garden salon and sells more than 70 brands online. Currently the ecommerce sales are growing at over 20 per cent a month.

Mr Mistry added: “Our model is predicated on the future of retail being more experienced based in store vs shelves or racks of products.”

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