Kai Feller, 28, set up Bark.com because he was fed up with wasting hours online looking for service providers, “going through endless pages of options of different people or services and having no idea which was any good”, says Lucy Tobin in the Evening Standard. The ordinary person might have reacted by “getting out a duster” instead of searching online for a cleaner, but Feller, then 22, “decided to build a website to get around the problem”. Bark.com, the site Feller co-founded with serial tech entrepreneur Andrew Michael (on the right in the picture), was his “light-bulb moment”. It now has five million users booking services from professional gardeners to accountants. Turnover doubled from £10m in 2018 to £20m in 2019.
Feller had previously co-founded a booking app called Socialite, through which he met Michael. The duo launched the site in 2015 from a shed on the side of Michael’s apartment. At first traders subscribed to Bark for £50 per month for any number of business leads, but this wasn’t scalable, as some would get a “few bites” while others would get hundreds. They made the switch to “Bark credits” – they cost around £1 and professionals need to use one to respond to a business enquiry – which “paid off massively”.
“The site was so popular and scaled so quickly that the basic prototype we initially launched was live for years before we took it to the next level,” says Feller. The pair run Bark from a Paddington office and are known for throwing lavish parties. The “work hard, play hard” environment delivers results – Bark has launched in the US, Canada, South Africa and Ireland. Next year they are planning to launch in Australia, New Zealand, Europe and “potentially Asia too”. The aim is to become “the Amazon of services”.
Nic studied for a BA in journalism at Cardiff University, and has an MA in magazine journalism from City University. She joined MoneyWeek in 2019.
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