When co-founders Songe LaRon and Dave Salvant first began barbershop tech platform Squire in 2016, they leaned in quite literally: the duo bought a barbershop in Chelsea, New York to see first-hand how the business worked. For one year, the co-founders religiously worked at the shop, now owned by a larger barbershop chain, handling every bit of the business (except cutting hair).
Five years later, the co-founders view that first-hand experience of the barber industry as a key moment in the history of Squire, now a 175-person company with a tech platform used by over 2,000 shops across three continents. After last raising a Series C in December, and tripling its valuation, Squire announced today that it has raised a $60 million round led by Tiger Global.
And, it tripled its valuation, again. Off of 300% year over year revenue growth, the New York startup is now valued at $750 million. It’s a massive uptick: A little over a year ago, Squire was valued at $75 million.
Like many startups these days, Squire wasn’t searching for capital when Tiger Global, which participated in its Series B and C rounds, offered to lead its next financing. The startup has only spent 10% of its previous round, a $45 million equity round, and now has tens of millions more of money in its bank. Ultimately, its decision to bring on more capital is so it can expand in the U.K. and Canada more aggressively – even in the wake of early-stage competitors like Boulevard. Squire’s dry powder also puts the co-founders in a position where they can acquire companies, a strategy that Salvant is into and plans to be “aggressive about.”
Squire also announced today the official launch of a product that has been in the roadmap since inception: Squire Capital. Squire Capital is a money management platform with tools that are tailored to the needs of barbershop operations, such as instant payments. Squire’s core business has been more around appointments, loyalty programs, and the installment of contactless payment, now with a fintech layer that aims to offer a more niche service than current financial services heavyweights like Square or Paypal.
Fintech is a “natural next frontier” for Squire, says Salvant, because the startup already has deep insights into how its businesses operate and how they process sales; now, it wants to add another service so it can offer a more holistic experience to them.
Squire Capital was built with Bond, a venture-backed fintech infrastructure startup that aims to help enterprise operations launch their own banking products. After experimenting with a $15 million debt financing arm around the time of its Series C, Squire isn’t offering loans at this time – hoping to find a better way to scale offerings in the future.
Squire is on route to becoming a historical, and unfortunately still rare, Black-led unicorn. Salvant talked about the significance of that feat, noting that this was “the optimal outcome” when founding the company. He hopes that VCs and investors will start to invest more in Black founders with Squire as a data point of a success story.
“Let’s face it, we’re not typical founders, we don’t look the same and we don’t act the same,” Salvant said. “I just want to serve as a lighthouse and this is validation for myself, my co-founder, but more importantly, what’s coming after us.”