SA’s Picadoo formalising the African haircare industry

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Johannesburg-based startup Picadoo is bidding to formalise Africa’s haircare industry via its online marketplace that helps users find local salons and book appointments.

Founded last year and launched to the public in May, Picadoo aims to simplify the process of finding and booking hairdressers, and allows users to review hairdressers and salons.

“Picadoo is unlike any other African hair website, we focus on helping African women get the best hairstylists in their location. Our aim is to help formalise the African hair industry, which has remained dominated by international brands and underserved women who get their hair done on city streets,” chief operating officer (COO) Sihlesenkosi Lwazi Majola told Disrupt Africa.

“Picadoo’s mission is to change the way we think about African hair and help formalise the messy African hair industry into the professional industry it deserves to be.”

Describing itself as “Airbnb for salons”, Picadoo claims to offer South Africans a more transparent and affordable salon-booking platform. It piloted with six hairdressers in Johannesburg in January, and is now also active in Durban.

“We have had tremendous uptake from customers. Picadoo had 2,000 users on its website in its first week and has 200 product inquiries and 300 bookings since it began operation in May,” said Majola.

“Picadoo plans to expand to Cape Town in November 2017 and then to Nigeria, Kenya, Ghana and Botswana.”

The startup charges a commission on each booking made through its platform, and also adds commission on products sold via its site. In October it will introduce an affiliate programme for all hair bloggers and vloggers.

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Passionate about the vibrant tech startups scene in Africa, Tom can usually be found sniffing out the continent's most exciting new companies and entrepreneurs, funding rounds and any other developments within the growing ecosystem.

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