BSP-licensed beauty parlor platform gets $400,000 in funding
MANILA -Parlon, a homegrown financial technology beauty and wellness startup with ambitions to expand globally, successfully raised $400,000 (P23 million) during its preseed round, which will help bankroll its domestic and regional growth.
Cofounded and led by millennials Kristine Claire Ongcangco and Miko Cornejo four years ago, Parlon allows users to easily find and book a salon or wellness center through its website and mobile app. Parlon is a portmanteau of the words “parlor” and “salon.”
The company is also the first beauty-focused platform to secure an operator of payment system license from the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas. It adds further that value through its software solution that helps hundreds of merchant-partners better streamline their business.
“The idea for Parlon emerged while I was pursuing my law degree. I waited for someone to revolutionize this sector for both consumers and merchants. However, it appears that the world was actually waiting for me to break through barriers and muster the courage to finally launch Parlon,” Ongcangco, the company’s CEO, said in a statement.
“With more than 16 million Filipinas aged 20 [to] 39, the Philippines was the perfect starting point. Our journey doesn’t end in the Philippines; Southeast Asia, and beyond, deserves to experience Parlon,” she added.
The preseed round, or the funding stage to help a project get off the ground, was backed by WIP Global Ventures, A2D Ventures and a group of angel investors. The fresh funding will allow Parlon to further scale up the business by acquiring more merchant partners and users and developing “an even stronger technology platform.”
Parlon also achieved a milestone with the recent launch of Parlon Singapore. Ongcangco said they were looking to grow in more countries within the region in the coming years.
“The salon and wellness service industry has long been underserved. This industry is a niche on its own. Often, it has been treated as an additional vertical or category on platforms. This compels the salon and wellness industry to handle tasks manually or adapt to the tools available out there,” said Cornejo, who is Parlon’s chief technology officer.