Today we’d like to introduce you to Merlin Kauffman.
Thanks for sharing your story with us Merlin. So, let’s start at the beginning and we can move on from there.
I’m the founder and CEO of Soothe, a revolutionary on-demand massage service that delivers spa-quality massages to people’s homes and offices around the world through same-day and advanced booking.
I got my start in technology at the age of 11, when I was hired by AOL as its youngest employee ever to learn its proprietary programming language, RAINMAN. There I performed an array of tasks such as community management. When I was 17, I co-founded eWireless.com, a company that offered wireless internet access to communities and coffee shops in my hometown of Indianapolis, Indiana. After selling my share of the business, I shifted my attention to buying domain names after seeing an opportunity following the dot-com bust.
I attended college but ultimately decided to commit full time to my domain business, True Magic. I now own over 55,000 blue-chip domains and am recognized as one of the top 20 investors in the blue-chip field.
In 2012, I completed Harvard Business School’s Owner/President Management program and came up the idea for Soothe. I had always been a proponent of massage therapy and frequently traveled and found that I was disenchanted with the often limited operating hours and advance-notice booking requirements of brick and mortar massage providers. I knew there was an opportunity to disrupt the existing business model, while at the same time offering a greater number of opportunities and higher wages for licensed massage therapists.
I founded Soothe in 2013 with the mission of offering an innovative on-demand service that delivers five-star massages in as little as 1 hour. Offering a new level of convenience to consumers and a new revenue channel to licensed massage therapists, Soothe quickly began to grow and is now available in 48 cities around the world, and is rapidly expanding.
Has it been a smooth road?
Our sudden, rapid growth has presented challenges in terms of technology, as well as staffing, but it has been all positive. Building Soothe has taught me how critical it is to invest in technology infrastructure and to build it to handle 1000X your current customer base. I have also learned the people you hire today may not necessarily have the right skill set in the second and third years, so I have had to keep in mind how staff will need to be trained and grow into ever-changing positions. There are war-time managers and peace-time managers — make sure you have both to balance between growth and sustainability.
So let’s switch gears a bit and go into the Soothe story. Tell us more about the business.
Soothe is an innovative on-demand service disrupting the massage industry. We deliver five-star massages in as little as 1 hour in nearly 50 cities across the U.S., U.K., Canada, and Australia, connecting clients with licensed, vetted massage therapist through the convenience of an easy to use app and website. A customer can order a table massage to their home, hotel, office, or event space. We provide deep tissue, Swedish, sports, and prenatal. Any one of these modalities can be performed as a couples massage. We also bring chair massage to the workplace through our corporate wellness program, Soothe At Work.
We specialize in making the healing power of massage more accessible. We believe our ease of use, professionalism, and the excellence of our nearly 8,000 therapists set us apart. We feel that our service provides instant gratification to health and wellness-minded people with no time to waste.
How do you think the industry will change over the next decade?
I foresee the massage industry continuing to grow, especially with the advent of the on-demand economy.
- $99- 60 Minute Massage (in most markets)
- $139- 90 Minute Massage (in most markets)
- $169- 120 Minute Massage (in most markets)
- $198- 60 Minute Couples Massage (in most markets)
- $278- 90 Minute Couples Massage (in most markets)
- $338- 120 Minute Couples Massage (in most markets)
- Website: www.soothe.com
- Phone: 1-800-960-7668
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Instagram: sootheapp
- Facebook: Soothe
- Twitter: sootheapp
- Yelp: https://www.yelp.com/biz/soothe-los-angeles
- Other: Snapchat: SootheApp
Photo Courtesy of Soothe