Cape Town-based startup Diarize Me has launched its new site and officially started accepting business after re-designing its software as an end-to-end management software for appointment-based businesses.
Diarize Me was formed during the first 88mph accelerator in Cape Town in 2013, having entered the programme as CitiDoc, a booking engine that allowed people to make appointments directly with doctors and dentists.
During the three-month programme, founder and chief executive officer (CEO) Mark Raa decided to take on a much broader market, and offer services to any appointment-based businesses, initially focused on the beauty industry. The latest rethink has repositioned Diarize Me as more than just an appointment book but an end-to-end solution.
Raa told Disrupt Africa the web-based software can be accessed on any device, from anywhere in the world, at any time, giving businesses a new operational advantage.
“Our software not only takes the hassle out of making and managing client appointments, it gives businesses the ability to keep track of their clients, send out appointment reminders and scheduled service follow-up’s, take advantage of powerful reporting features, keep track of their inventory, and for the first time in this industry, instantly accept credit card payments from clients directly through our software,” he said.
He said the appointment management software currently available in the South African market mainly focuses on the “traditional mindset” that people make appointments during working hours, with software as a result limited to a desktop computer in an office.
“What Diarize Me does is take appointment management software to its next evolutionary step. We let businesses access their data 24/7 from anywhere and from any device. This means that they can accept appointments while travelling, visiting clients, or even at home,” Raa said.
Initially developed using the 88mph funding, Diarize Me later obtained series A investment from NightsBridge and ActivityBridge. It is currently focused on the South African market but plans to expand up the west and east coasts of Africa.
“While our software was developed to be used for any appointment-based business, our marketing and sales strategy is going to be focused on the Wellness and Beauty industry which is showing all the signs of being ripe for disruption,” Raa said.
Diarize Me operates on a subscription model, charging businesses on a monthly basis for the use of our software, with pricing based on how many software users each business has and starting from ZAR299 per month (US$24).
“One of the big game changers and additional revenue streams that we are really excited about is our credit card processing capability,” Raa said.
“In the past, clients had to get a merchant account with their bank, rent a swipe machine and pay a high transaction percentage for using it. What we have done is build this functionality directly into our software, giving smaller salons and businesses the opportunity to finally accept credit cards from their clients at a rate much lower than what they would be paying to their bank.”