Blue Apron, Peloton, and the Future of On-Demand Wellness: Zeel CEO Chats with Cheddar

Blue Apron, Peloton, and the Future of On-Demand Wellness: Zeel CEO Chats with Cheddar


If you’re looking for the spa treatment but
don’t want to leave your apartment, there’s an app for that. Zeel is an on-demand massage service that
brings licensed therapist to your home, to your hotel, or just your office in under an
hour, that’s very exciting. So here to tell us more about that is Samer
Hamadeh, he’s the CEO over at Zeel. Samer, such a pleasure to talk to you so tell us
some of our viewers who might not be familiar to you guys, what they can expect, what they
can get, what are some of the services you guys provide. Right, we’re an on-demand massage company
as you said. So that means you download our app, iOs or
Android, or use our website Zeel.com. And you press a button and a therapist can
show up in as little as an hour. It’s really magical. It’s so magical. Okay Samer so you were on our other show at
the Stock Exchange about six months ago. What’s happened as far as growth since
we’ve talked to you last. What–do you have new locations, new membership
features, like what’s the update? Yes, we just launched our 67th city out in California. So now we service over 50% of the population in the US. And we have an on-demand wellness subscription. It’s called Massage Zeelot. And we’re offering it now in all those cities
and people can get a massage a month or more at a discounted price. It’s on-demand wellness, it reminds you to
take care of yourself and that’s all the rage these days, right? We see Peloton for on-demand fitness in the
home, we see Blue Apron who just went public, obviously on-demand healthy eating, you know
subscription based in the home. And then we’ve got one for massage, Massage Zeelot. So you get a massage a month, you get a free
massage table that we ship to your house, Zeel sheets, its about a $380 value that
we send to you for free. And you book a massage a month and here in
New York City its $99 a month before tax and tip, its as low as $79 in cities like Austin,
Atlanta, Detroit, and others. What if you don’t want a massage table, I
live in a tiny little studio because I do and I can’t put a massage table in my place. Well you can get our 90-day free trial where
we’ll bring the table every time and then you can see what you think. But the table is relatively small, it weighs
about 22 pounds, it fits under beds, it fits behind corners and doors, its not really bulkier. And last time you were here, you know talking
about all the people that were part of the network. You have 9,000 vetted and licensed therapists,
who are these freelancers, contractors that are working with you guys. What are some of the security features that
you guys have and protocols that you guys have to go through to get a lot of these people
that are going to come into our house and give us a massage. They are contractors but they are very well vetted
so you have to apply on Zeel, you have to have a license in your state, this is a very
highly regulated industry. Every therapist has at least a million dollars
of liability insurance, we have a huge policy with Lloyd’s of London on top of that. And you have to do an extensive interview
and training session with us so ultimately we only accept about 45% of the therapists. So does the training session include a massage? Do you get one every single time? Well sometimes it does but I don’t get those. We have a fully sord of you know professional
staff who vets the therapists. But they really are terrific people and like
I said they’re very well licensed. We have a two-way security protocol because
our therapists also obviously care that it’s really Baker or Melissa doing the ordering. So we have an ID system, you can put in your
social security number or take a scan of your drivers license or passport and our partners at
Experian and Jumio check all that data including your mobile phone to make sure you are who
you say you are. And that puts the therapist at ease, 85% of
massage therapists in America are female and they want to make sure they’re protected as well. This two way system is really the bomb. So you launched Zeel Spa in November–6 months
ago basically. Uh, 18 months ago
18 months. 18 months. 18 months ago?! 18 months. So are you, not just last November–a year
over– We just announced it a few months ago You just announced it Because we just contracted with our 200th
spa for the service Okay so how has this impacted businesses with the
traditional competition? Because at first I would think a company like
yours would be competition to a traditional hotel spa or something. But now you’re actually saying “Oh your employee’s
sick, you can have one of mine.” You can have one of the Zeel therapists. Well it turns out when you collect a lot of
data like these tech-enabled wellness companies, we know a lot about this industry. Most in-home massages occur in the evening,
almost 70% of our massages occur after 5 PM, when spas are closed or are already booked. So we weren’t competing with the spa it turned
out it just felt that way. Most spa appointments are occurring during
the day. Primarily, Friday afternoon, Saturday afternoon,
and Sunday afternoon. So when our therapists want to work we can
send them there when they’re not busy with the home jobs and in the evening they can do the home jobs. We also point out that 22% of our orders occur
after 9 PM. This is great for millennials who are waking
up to health and wellness and are taking care of themselves. So you de-stress, you relax, you manage your
pain from workouts and sitting in an office all day by getting a massage in the evening
before you go to bed. And we recently partnered with Ariana Huffington
and her Thrive Global on a Thrive massage that we’re now doing around the country with
a whole set of sleep protocols that Ariana and her team developed with us. It’s really fantastic. Well of course we definitely
Let’s talk about the on demand wellness arena because again its a very competitive industry
right now. Of course, you guys are specializing in massages
but the on-demand wellness industry such as Blue Apron. What do you think about the successes and
failures in this particular part of the industry? Well I think it’s very early so I don’t subscribe
to the theory that Blue Apron isn’t doing a good job. I think it’s very early days, they went public
first so they have the leadership position, they stand for the meal kit market. But they’re tapping into the same zeitgeist
that we’re tapping into, which is: you want to take care of yourself, and you want to
be reminded to do it, and you want to do it in the convenience and privacy of your own home. And a subscription program like Zeelot, or like Blue Apron, or like Peloton, reminds you to do that — and allows you to save money. So I just think it’s very early days and they’re
ultimately going to do very well in my opinion. Samer really quick before we let you go. This is the
question that’s always on my mind I think the biggest issue with the gig economy if
you find someone you really like doing a service why not just cut out the middleman and go directly. How do you kind of tackle that type of issue? Well there’s several reasons, one is the therapist
is our customer too so we make sure to get her jobs at the workplace, hotel, spa and
in the home and we do that so well that she really is loyal to us. 2. We don’t take a huge amount money of the
order, its about 25% of the amount that you pay and it includes automatic tip, that makes
therapists feel really, really good. And 3. We have a feature in the app that allows
you to prioritize your favorite therapists, you press the heart button, you start to see
the same therapist over and over again, its really convenient. Very convenient, we can’t wait for the massages. We’re really excited for all your success. We’re gonna get them in the office, hopefully soon. Get them in the office as soon as we can do it. Samer Hamadeh, thank you so very much, the
CEO over at Zeel.