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There's this new startup, called Front Desk, that aspires to become the next Zillow or Expedia. In today's technologically-driven world, as long as you possess guts, talent and a winning strategy, that doesn't come as a surprise, usually. But what's interesting is that this Zillow/Expedia wannabe has very little to do with vacations, airline tickets, apartments and real estate. As a matter of fact, Front Desk is a software-as-a-service platform that takes care of customer signups, scheduling and billing for companies engaged in personal services (also, see Bitrix24 review and TribeHR review for more SaaS startups).
Before Front Desk, Jon Zimmerman and Nicki Violetti managed Crossfit gyms. Because spreadsheets, paper and pencil, some clunky outdated desktop software, and even Square, weren't enough to take care of their back-office needs, they decided to create their own system. Together with Zimmerman's former Expedia colleagues, Front Desk came to be.
Front Desk has a diverse range of paying customers, from mom-and-pops to larger entities like the chain of gyms operated in the Midwest by football quarterback Peyton Manning. Front Desk also has raised $3.2 million in seed money via Rich Barton, Expedia’s founder, Lloyd Frink who co-founded Zillow with Rich Barton, and Second Avenue Partners, a venture capitalist based in Seattle. The funding, according to Zimmerman, will be used to beef up Front Desk’s engineering and account management teams, as well as to start investing in marketing.
Officially launched in March, Front Desk still has ways to go in terms of on-boarding new customers, which Zimmerman says had been intentional because they wanted to do everything right.
Front Desk is available in six languages and can be used through a browser or as a mobile app. Instead of charging its customers per person, customers pay Front Desk 1% of processed transactions up to $10,000. After which, for every $1,000, they get charged $2.
Zimmerman has big expectations for Front Desk. Yes, you guessed right – to become as huge as Zillow and Expedia.
[Via - Unusual Business Ideas Blog]
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