Booker to Expand with $35M Series C Round from Medina, First Data

Scheduling and management service Booker landed a $35 million Series C funding round led by Medina Capital, along with an investment from international payment processor First Data.

Booker, based in New York, plans to use the money to expand the number of products it offers and the number of businesses it serves. The company sells a range of services from marketing and online booking to point-of-sale and personnel management software for small- and medium-sized businesses.

Though previously focused on spas and salons, Booker’s clients currently include service-based companies such as acupuncture and spas to class-focuses businesses, such as yoga studios. Booker plans to remain focused on the service economy, and it has also inked deals with a broad range of companies—including working with one of the largest pet services providers in the country, said CEO Josh McCarter, though he did not disclose the name. Booker also has partnerships with Comcast related to the Golf Channel, as well as a business in the childcare sector, he said.

“There is a similar dynamic that exists in other service-based industries where they need something that helps manage the services and the staff, and power the scheduling,” McCarter said in a telephone interview. These businesses want to know who their customers are and when they last visited, he said.

Booker is also investing more in services that drive customers to its clients, such as Yelp and AOL, he said. Directory companies like Yellow Pages want new commerce-based revenue, and small- and medium-sized businesses want transaction-based advertising, McCarter said.

“That’s where Booker can bring key assets to those businesses,” he said.

Spun out in 2010 from SpaFinder, the company grew from 55 employees in 2012 to 200 employees by mid-2013, when it received a $27.5 million Series B round led by Bain Capital Ventures. It now has about 270, a number that could expand as much as 20 percent this year, McCarter said.

Booker has about 9,000 customers and processed $2 billion in transactions in 2014, up front $1.4 billion a year earlier, he said. It handles about 3 million bookings a month, McCarter told Forbes.

Medina invested because it believes more offline services businesses will begin using online products such as Booker, partner Adam Smith said in a statement. First Data sees potential providing technology for managing service-based businesses, said Himanshu Patel, a vice president with First Data, in the statement.

David Holley is Xconomy's national correspondent based in Austin, TX. You can reach him at dholley@xconomy.com Follow @xconholley

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