Heyday has raised $3 million in seed funding led by New York's Lerer Hippeau Ventures.
The company's stated goal is to take facials "out of the spa" and make them more accessible to a wider range of customers. Founder and CEO Adam Ross' background in finance might not make him the most obvious candidate to led a skincare startup, but he said he first got to explore the beauty industry from his vantage point of investment banking.
Ross also recalled hearing women's complaints about "how difficult it was to get a facial." Specifically, he said the options are limited to costly, high-end facials and "random little places that are generally cheap in a bad way," with nothing available "in the middle."
So Heyday has already opened four locations in Manhattan, which offer facials starting at $60 for a 30-minute session, and which are staffed by more than 100 licensed skincare aestheticians in total.
Ross said that more than 40 percent of Heyday's clients visit a physical location at least once a month, but there's also an online component, where you can buy skincare products that are tailored to your needs and your skin type. In fact, he said it's really the personalization that sets Heyday apart.
"It’s brick and mortar, but the technology is the real competitive moat around the business," Ross said.
With its combination of physical stores and online shopping, you might compare Heyday to Warby Parker — except that you can do all your Warby Parker shopping online, while Heyday's core experience is in the store itself. Plus, Ross admitted that website isn't quite as good as he wants it to be, which is something he's hoping to fix now that he's brought on Lerer Hippeau as an investor.
"This is part of why we’re working with [Managing Partner Ben Lerer] and team — the online experience doesn’t it doesn’t match the in-store experience," Ross said. The goal is to turn the website into a place where customers can get access to a "detailed facial analysis" and find relevant content and products: "What we’re trying to do is elevate the discussion in skincare and do it in a way that’s very personal and customized."
The company is about to open a fifth store in New York, and Ross said he's also eyeing expansion to Los Angeles.
"Heyday’s success has been driven by a deep commitment to using data to inform what a truly great customer experience looks like in a space that’s growing and has huge opportunity for new consumer brands to emerge," Lerer said in an emailed statement. "The founders are brand first and care about their team and customer in a way that we’ve seen again and again in our most successful investments."
- This article originally appeared on TechCrunch.