Treatwell: A Company Worth €34 Million in Barely 2 Years.
Ever heard of Treatwell? I will be honest I did not. Nevertheless it is a fast growing and interesting company to look at. The company has had a 425% year-on-year growth since they launched in 2013. Recently, the company has been acquired by Wahanda’s, after a $46 million cash injection and a $171 million majority acquisition.
But how was Treatwell able to grow so big so quickly? In my opinion there are two major reasons for Treatwell’s success. At first, Treatwell’s first mover advantage allowed the company to dominate the online marketplace. Treatwell is the first online wellness and beauty marketplace in the Netherlands. Customers can make an appointment at a hairdresser, a massage salon or a waxbars on the site. After visiting a salon, the customer can leave a review at the site. Secondly, Treatwell started with a very talented and diverse team. The team includes an ex CFO of booking.com, a former senior executive of Procter & Gamble and a co-founder of Just-Eat Benelux.
Actually the business model is not new, the food industry is already using it for years. Iens, for instance, allows you to search for restaurants in different cities and offers a great variety of cuisines. Each restaurant is reviewed by customers, which makes it easier for potential customers to choose. This is exactly what Treatwell is doing, only in a different industry. With this sort business model’s it is extremely important to be the largest. Once you are, you are not getting out of that position, according to Laurens Groenendijk. Speurders failed to dispel Marktplaats and Just Eat to dethrone Thuisbezorgd.
This is the same reason why Wahanda’s acquisition is no surprise. Businesses like Wahanda’s (a Japanese competitor) are built to around economies of scale. “By bringing Wahanda and Treatwell together, we have formed the undisputed leader in the European market.” said Laurens Groenendijk, co-founder and CEO of Treatwell. “Our geographical coverage and our cutting-edge technology complement each other perfectly, as do our cultures and ambitions. We are thrilled to be part of this exciting venture.”
This is just one example of how our consumer economy is being disrupted by technology. I welcome this kind of disruptions, for me it makes it easier to choose. Besides, I think it will ensure a higher quality on the long term.