If you walk the streets of New York, you might find that barbershops are often more than a place to get a trim. As the cultural patrimony of local neighborhoods, they inspire passionate conversations, often infusing the camaraderie associated with these charming establishments and their barbers. But, over the last decades, even the most iconic barbershops have struggled to survive.
Songe LaRon, an attorney, and Dave Salvant, a private banker, grew up witnessing local barbershops’ impact on their communities and sought to optimize how owners ran their daily operations.
" This is the network I want to be a part of. Not many people who reach this level are black. We can serve at a lighthouse for other entrepreneurs who are thinking about starting companies but couldn’t point to any success stories. I’m fully aware of that responsibility we have."
They quit corporate life and started investigating a solution by eating their own dog food.n 2016, they purchased a barbershop license in Manhattan for 20 thousand dollars and ran the place for a year. They did everything but – thankfully – cutting their customers’ hair. Songe and Dave soon realized that the industry’s lack of managing tools and online presence led to a loss of revenue and a poor customer experience.
Their solution was stellar: Songe and Dave began assembling a team to create a platform providing shop owners with an integrated booking software, enhancing the shop’s brand experience with loyalty programs, digital payments, and seamless communication with customers.
When streets remained empty, and stores were vacant amidst the pandemic, Songe and Dave waived fees for their clients until barber shops could recover financially.
During this time, they leveraged Endeavor’s network to raise capital and expand their business to Australia, scaling their team. As Squire reached almost three thousand establishments in the US, Canada, and the UK, in 2021, Forbes Magazine included the company on its “25 Next Billion-Dollars Startups” list.
" "Endeavor brought us into a global network of some of the most well-respected and successful entrepreneurs. As first-time founders, we know there is always a lot to learn", said Songe. "And mentors guided us to maintain our culture as we rapidly scale," adds Dave. "
Squire’s valuation soared from $85 million in March to $750 million in August 2021. Today, Squire advances the next frontier of growth, continuing on a path to move barbershops forward and bring the venture capital market with them to invest in those who have inspired the enriching conversations they have experienced time and again at their local barbershop.
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