Wahanda secures £3.5m funding for international growth
Salon and spa deals website Wahanda has received £3.5m of investment from private equity firm Fidelity Growth Partners Europe (FGPE) to fuel expansion into international markets. FGPE partner Davor Hebel has also joined the board of Wahanda from today. Wahanda targets consumers seeking information about beauty and wellness and allows them to book treatments from 250,000 spas and salons, often with considerable discounts. The funding will be used to accelerate the company's growth both in the UK and overseas. Wahanda is visited by around 10 million consumers per year. The site was launched in 2008 by internet entrepreneurs Lopo Champalimaud and Salim Mitha with backing from prominent business people including Brent Hoberman, founder of lastminute.com and Wolf Hengst, former president of Four Seasons Hotels & Resorts, who is Wahanda's chairman. Champalimaud said: 'Our vision is to do for health, beauty and wellness what Amazon did for books. We have created an online destination where people can find, discover, share and book anything they want to do with health, beauty and wellness. We're thrilled to partner with Fidelity Growth Partners Europe and we are looking forward to the passion and experience Davor will bring to our board.' Hebel added: 'We have been very impressed by the traction that Wahanda has gained in the short time since inception. Lopo had an original idea to transform the health and beauty market by partnering with merchants, while offering the customers a one-stop shop for their wellness needs. Wahanda is a vertical marketplace akin to TripAdvisor or OpenTable solving a specific problem much better than any general player.'