Treatments like botox are becoming more ubiquitous, spurring growth in the number of medspas, or centers that offer botox, IV hydration and laser treatments from certified providers like registered nurses. Opening a medspa, however, can be a lengthy and expensive process. Moxie wants to make it easier with its “business-in-a-box” model, offering providers coaching, access to discounted supplies and an EHR/POS software suite. So far, Moxie has helped launch more than 100 medspa locations.
The startup announced today it has raised $15.7 million led by SignalFire and Boulton & Watt. It currently operates in seven states, and part of the funding will be used to expand across the United States.
Before launching Moxie last year, co-founder Dan Friedman started an online education business called Thinkful that helped adults learn new tech skills and change their careers for ones in software engineering, data analytics and marketing. It was acquired by Chegg in 2019.
Many of Moxie’s clients are registered nurses who felt burned out by their careers in hospital systems. The majority of them are women, and half are women of color. Friedman told TechCrunch he sees Moxie as a continuation of Thinkful’s goal to “help people achieve the American dream when working with lower middle and middle income Americans and helping them find upwardly mobile trajectories.” Medspas cost an average of $163,000 to open, according to trade association AmSpa. Locations that open with Moxie typically spend less than $30,000 in startup costs, Friedman says.
Friedman became interested in the medspa space because he had a friend who was working as an injector at a medspa and wanted to start his own. But the process took months and was extremely costly, even though he already had loyal patients who were willing to follow him to a new place. Moxie’s team started talking to medspa owners to find out what kinds of problems they ran into and saw pain points they could solve.
The traditional way of starting a medspa is to talk to lawyers and spending about $10,000 to $25,000 just to structure the business, says Friedman. Medspa owners, who can include registered nurses, nurse practitioners, physician associates and doctors depending on what state they operate in, need to find a medical director and put into place legal paperwork, policies and procedures. This is on top of finding a physical location, setting up tech systems and a website, sourcing supplies and developing their brand. Medspa owners interviewed by Moxie said the process typically took them about six months.
Friedman says that Moxie can cut the process down to 30 to 60 days. Each person who opens a medspa through Moxie is connected to an onboarding manager that they meet with once or twice a week. After their location is opened, they are matched with a success manager, who typically has a background serving as a regional manager of medspas. The kind of advice medspa owners get include deciding when the right time to expand by adding new services and equipment is, since devices like lasers can cost $150,000 to $200,000. They also receive guidance on patient acquisition through channels like paid digital marketing. Friedman says new medspa owners typically spend the first month finding patients through online ads, but by the second or third month, they usually start getting return clients and word-of-mouth referrals.
In addition to coaching, Moxie also gives medspa owners software called Moxie Suite, which includes EMR features to help them manage patient records, checkout, payments and embedded banking through a feature called Moxie Balance. The EMR part is customized for medspas, since many use software designed for plastic surgeons that include features they don’t need and are unnecessarily complex, says Friedman.
One of the biggest expenses for medspa owners is supplies, and Moxie helps by partnering with some of the largest medspa suppliers in the U.S. to build national accounts. Because it purchases at scale, Moxie’s clients can get preferred pricing, which helps them compete more effectively against major chains.
The majority of the medspa owners Moxie has worked with are registered nurses, but they also include nurse practitioners, physician associates and doctors, depending on who is allowed to offer medspa services in each state.
Friedman says Moxie’s top performers bring in over a million a year in topline, with profit margins higher than 40%. People who make that much are usually operating their medspas full time, but Moxie also works with owners who work less hours, with about half of its locations operating part time.
Moxie monetizes through a launch fee and makes most of its money through percentage of sales. “Our model ensures our alignment with our partners,” says Friedman. “We succeeded when they succeed.”
In a statement about the investment, SignalFire partner and new Moxie board member Chris Scoggins said, “We invested because of the size of the opportunity, the quality of the team and its execution, and the comprehensiveness of the solution. In just one year, Moxie became the leader in its category. We’re excited to support Moxie with SignalFire’s Beacon AI data platform for recruiting, talent team, in-house experts and XIR program.”