Over the past few years, Pakistan has noticed massive growth in the startup world. However, almost 95% of the startups have been dominated and led by males. Recently, Pakistan’s first female-led startup, BeautyHooked, raised $280K in the seed round funding to break all the stereotypes in Pakistan.
The founder and CEO of Lahore-based BeautyHooked, Sahr Said is on a mission to Pakistani women’s beauty and lifestyle needs. She is getting complete support from all the beautiful women of Pakistan in her project. While talking to Express Tribune, Sahr Said stated:
“I built BeautyHooked because I wanted to empower women, and it is a product that empowers women. The beauty industry is an industry led by women, from salon owners, to the staff that works for them, to the women who use their services. Not only does it promote beauty entrepreneurs, it also empowers them to grow their businesses”
Sahr Said founded the startup in 2015 along with Sidra Talha, a gold medalist from UMT. The startup got its main break after they won Startup Weekend Lahore. During the press conference yesterday, Sahr announced that they are signing a deal with a company in Qatar. The notion of the deal is to take this platform across the borders.
Moreover she also hinted on franchising the product while making a comment on the seed funding. She said:
“The seed fund is a great confidence booster for us and all women who are planning to start their own ventures. The funding will be spent on expanding operations in Pakistan and other international destinations. We are strongly considering franchising our product”
BeautyHooked is a Salon and Spa discovery platform for a beauty parlor in Lahore to get great online presence. It allows you to find and book beauty appointments. In short, if you need a haircut or a massage Spa in Lahore, BeautyHooked will cater your needs.
Additionally, one can compare prices, select desired service with a few clicks and make online appointments anytime, day or night. Once you make a booking, you will get immediate confirmations for your beauty services. Moreover, you can also call their staff anytime to assist you in every step of your booking process.
The team includes three co-founders, Sahr Said (CEO), Sidra Talha (COO) and Abdullah Ahmed (CTO). All of them have a combined experience of whopping 18 years. The team’s strength and experiences are going to be vital for running this venture successfully in the coming years.
The startup is operational in Lahore as of now. The trio will use the investment in expanding the startup both nationwide and internationally. A large chunk of the investment will be utilized in the development of the mobile app. The objective will be to strengthen the platform by making it integrated with third-party tools and services.
An encouraging tale of Sahr Said
Sahr Said’s story isn’t as glittery as her startup. She had to work day in and day out to reach at a stage where she is at the moment. Her journey is chaotic from finding a market niche, concept inception, securing resources and becoming Pakistan’s first female-funded, female-run startup in the industry.
Inspiring female completed her Master’s degree from Cornell University. She turned down number of job offers in US only to come back to Pakistan as an entrepreneur. She stated:
“Nobody expected me to come back to Pakistan. I thought I would land a job in Wall Street and build a career but I wanted to come back and change things for women in Pakistan. I chose Pakistan because that’s how much I believe in the future of the country”
Sahr credit a large part of her success to her husband. While showering praise for him and other men in her family, she commented:
“The men in my family, my husband, father, brother and father-in-law have been my greatest support. My husband, in particular, never doubted on my abilities at any point”
Do you think BeautyHooked will inspire other aspiring females in the country to come up with their startups?